By Harrison Cann
Every state has its share of archaic, weird, and outdated laws, and Pennsylvania is certainly no exception. Here in the Commonwealth there are some bizarre laws at national and local level, and although many of them are not enforced, some still remain in force. Particularly at the municipal level, old statutes and ordinances are retained as the process of repeal can be lengthy and costly.
Here are some of the wackiest laws still in effect in Pennsylvania. You may have broken one without even knowing it.
- We bet you didn’t see it coming. Fortune telling for personal gain is illegal.
- It is better not to hunt big game when the animal is swimming, otherwise you will drown in fines.
- No accidents here. Your bedroom cannot be more than 200 feet from your tub, shower, or toilet.
- Game enabled? It is prohibited for a person to shoot a paintball gun at another person who does not play paintball.
- Don’t be left on the hook. Anglers should not use goldfish, comets, koi and common carp as bait.
- The state’s Blue Laws, aka “Sunday Laws,” were established to prevent activities from taking place on Sundays for religious or secular reasons. Here are two that have not stood the test of time:
- Old Blue Laws prohibited sports, musical and theatrical performances before 1 p.m. on Sundays. But upon closer examination, the game holds.
- Also pump the brakes on car sales. These transactions are also prohibited on Sundays.
The state is not alone in writing archaic rules. Municipal regulations can get weird and often remain active, regardless of their application:
- In Bensalem, bingo is reserved for non-criminals. You will only be able to play B4 if you were locked up.
- Hold your horses if you are in Taranto. It is illegal to tie a horse (but not a dog) to a parking meter or lamppost.
Harrison Cann is a reporter for City & State Pa., where this story first appeared.