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New Hampshire’s 10 Silliest Laws

November 12, 2016

Live free or die! That’s the New Hampshire motto, but did you know that urinating while looking up at the sky on a Sunday could land you in the slammer? Yup, New Hampshire has some pretty strange laws on their books. Here are 10 of the silliest.

1. It is illegal to pick up trash in White Mountain National Park.

You are also forbidden from building a bench or improving upon the park in any way without first obtaining a permit.

2. You may not employ the aid of a ferret while hunting.

Bring along as many hounds as you want, but don’t you dare let a ferret “ferret” out your prey in New Hampshire.

3. The pour holes in restaurant sugar dispensers can be no wider than 3/8 of an inch.

In 1971 restaurants were prohibited from serving sugar in open bowls and wide-holed dispensers in an effort to prevent chemical tampering. Although the intentions are good, any poisoner worth his salt (or sugar) won’t be swayed by narrow pour holes.

4. Seaweed is not to be picked up from the beach at night.

You would think folks removing seaweed from the beaches would delight New Hampshire, but, alas, it is against the law. Apparently it was enacted in 1973 because “a few people were pulling living rockweed and eelgrass off the beach and stone, and there were enforceability issues at night.” Makes sense knowing what has become of living coral in the Caribbean thanks to tourists removing it while live.

5. No one under 10 years old may enter a Claremont cemetery unattended.

It is also illegal to get drunk in a cemetery or enter at night.

6. You may not sell the “shirt off your back” to clear a gambling debt.

The law actually reads “No title or interest in money or any other thing can be acquired, lost, or changed by gambling, or by the payment, delivery, or transfer by any losing party.” Although it does not specifically mention clothing, it is frequently cited that way. Maybe to prevent drunken streaking in casinos?

7. You may not check into a hotel under an assumed name.

I can see where the lawmakers were coming from – accurate information makes it easier to track down vandals and rate-dodgers. However, it sure puts a damper on a couple’s role-play fantasy!

8. While in a public bar or tavern, it is against the law to keep time with the music by nodding, tapping your foot, snapping, etc.

This is a small portion of a law pertaining to public alcohol consumption and live entertainment. I’m sure the lawmakers had the best of intentions, but this is some crazy Footloose nonsense!

9. Cattle that cross state roads must be fitted with a device to collect their feces.

I’m not sure what this magical contraption is, but I’ll take 3 for my dogs please!

10. The operation of machinery is banned on Sunday.

In New Hampshire, Sunday is still the Lord’s day, meaning the biblical law of “no laboring on the Sabbath” still applies.