Top 20 Insane U.S. Federal Laws (So Far)

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019


In 1982, a Department of Justice official named Ronald Gainer attempted to figure out the number of federal crimes that existed “for the express purpose of exposing the idiocy” of the system. He, along with the Department of Justice, failed.

Since then, 37 years have passed and thousands of new laws have been created, making this task even more monstrous and daunting. Nonetheless, one Twitter account is trying do what no one else has been able to.

A Crime A Day has posted a single, and usually absurd, law every day for the past five years on their Twitter account. With almost 2,000 crimes counted, it’s clear that Congress has some wackadoodles in it. So, without further ado, here are 20 of the strangest laws in the Land of the Free:

 

1.36 CFR §520.7 makes it a federal crime to gamble at the national zoo.

 

2. 21 USC § 343(g)(2) and 21 CFR §169.150(f) make it a federal crime to sell salad dressing unless you label it “salad dressing.”

 

3. 40 USC §5104 and 36 CFR §702.2(c)(5) make it a federal crime to intentionally disrupt people by urinating in a reading room at the Library of Congress. I’m a little scared that this became such a problem we needed a law to rectify the situation.

 

4. 15 U.S.C. §§69i, 69b, and 16 C.F.R. §301.3 make it a federal crime to sell a fur coat if the required label isn’t written in English.

 

5. 21 CFR §139.110(c) makes it a federal crime to sell “spaghetti” thicker than 0.11″ in diameter because that’s just criminal.

 

6. 40 U.S.C. §8103(b)(4) makes it a federal crime to “injure” a government-owned lamp.

 

7. 27 C.F.R. §4.39(a)(9) makes it a federal crime to sell wine with a brand name including the word “zombie.”

 

8. 50 CFR §18.34(b)(2)(ii) makes it a federal crime to chase away a polar bear using a truck. Subaru’s are fine though.

 

9. 50 CFR §17.40(g)(4)(ii) makes it a federal crime to kill Utah prairie dogs who’ve been disturbing human burial sites, unless all “practicable measures to resolve the conflict are implemented.”

 

10. 49 CFR § 225.15(c)(2) makes it a federal crime for a railroad to report that an employee was hurt while playing racquetball or baseball. I guess we’ll just have to hold tryouts for an employee football team because, you know, that’s less physical than racquetball.)

 

11. 21 CFR §155.201(a)(2)(vi) makes it a federal crime to sell canned mushroom pieces and stems unless the stem and cap pieces are irregular shapes and sizes.

 

12. 18 U.S.C. §916 makes it a federal crime for an individual, with fraudulent intent, to pretend to be a member of the 4-H Clubs.

 

13. 18 U.S.C. §1730 makes it a federal crime for a non-postman to wear a postal worker uniform, unless the non-postman is a theater, TV, or movie actor.

 

14. 36 CFR §7.13(h) makes it a federal crime to let your cat walk on a boardwalk in Yellowstone.

 

15. 7 CFR §319.56–62(b) makes it a federal crime to import fresh beans from Jordan unless they’re cut shorter than 2cm, shredded, split, or cut into chevrons.

 

16. 18 USC §1653 makes it a federal crime for aliens to be pirates. Does this mean Alien Pirate 2 won’t be a thing?

 

17. 18 USC §871 and 879(a) make it a federal crime to threaten to beat up the president, the vice president, or a former president, but not a former vice president.

 

18. 21 CFR §139.150(b) makes it a federal crime to sell “egg noodles” that aren’t ribbon-shaped. How could you???

 

19. 16 C.F.R. §1500.17(a)(8) makes it a federal crime to sell fireworks that someone may mistake for food.

 

20. 50 CFR §91.24(b) makes it a federal crime for judges of the Federal Duck Stamp contest to not spend at least two hours reviewing the artwork submitted by duck stamp contestants before the contest begins.

 

So, if the buffoons on Capitol Hill have time to make these laws, what else have they criminalized?  It’s safe to say that whatever you may be doing at any point in time is probably illegal somewhere, most of all in the US of A.

Daniel Elmore is a sophomore at Alexander Central High School in Taylorsville, North Carolina. He is the top of his class and is very active in local politics as well as his local food pantry.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Daniel Elmore

Alexander Central High School

Daniel Elmore is a sophomore at Alexander Central High School in Taylorsville, North Carolina. He is the top of his class and is very active in local politics as well as his local food pantry.

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