Minnesota’s Most Bizarre Laws: Folklore, Fiction and Fact
My goal is to break as few laws as possible. I don't look good in stripes. The challenge is staying up to speed on Minnesota's laws, regulations and restrictions. Ignorance isn't an excuse. Laws change over time, and it's difficult to weed through a myriad of obcure laws on the books to see what is current, and what "unusual" laws have lapsed.
Did you know that in the City of Duluth it is illegal to allow a pet to sleep in a bakery? Or at least it was in the recent past. Write that down - it might come in handy. At one point teasing skunks in Minnesota was illegal, although I can't for the life of me imagine a moment in time when ANY SANE INDIVIDUAL would want to tease a skunk!
At one point the city of Brainerd had a law on its books requiring all men to have beards. Really. Another law, still on the books, that caught my eye: in Minnesota you can't be arrested for public drunkenness, but you can be charged for the consequences of your drunken actions. Here is Minnesota Statute 340A.902: "No person may be charged with or convicted of the offense of drunkenness or public drunkenness. Nothing herein prevents the prosecution and conviction of an intoxicated person for offenses other than drunkenness or public drunkenness nor does this section relieve a person from civil liability for an injury to persons or property caused by the person while intoxicated."
Good to know, huh?
Some of these laws may have seemed perfectly reasonable at the time, but the need to regulate specific behavior has changed with the times. I asked ChatGPT, which uses artificial intelligence to answer specific questions, for a list of unusual Minnesota laws, and here is what it listed:
- In Minnesota, it is illegal to cross state lines with a duck on your head.
- In the city of Minneapolis, it is illegal to eat ice cream on a sidewalk on a Sunday.
- In the city of St. Paul, it is illegal to water your lawn when it is raining.
It's worth noting that these laws may no longer be in effect, or they may have been exaggerated or misrepresented over time. It's always a good idea to double-check the accuracy of any information you come across.
We certainly aren't alone or unusual when it comes to outlandish and outdated laws. Check a few of these out, courtesy of thelatestbot app:
In the US state of Florida, it’s illegal to feed seagulls in public places. If you’re caught, you can face up to a $500 fine.
In France, it’s against the law to name a pig Napoleon. The law was enacted in the early 19th century in an effort to prevent any potential uprisings or attempts to overthrow the government.
In the UK, it’s illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament. This law dates back to the 14th century, when it was believed that anyone who passed away in the building would be cursed.
In Switzerland, it’s a crime to flush the toilet after 10 pm. This law was put in place to maintain the peace and quiet of the country’s residential areas.
Life is absurd, and so are the laws we create to maintain some semblance of order. Print this out and paste it to your refrigerator, and for God's sake don't bring Fifi or Fido to the neighborhood bakery!