Every state has it’s own unusual or unique laws, but North Carolina seems to win the prize for some of the strangest laws, and strangest penalties.
I think it should be a misdemeanor to steal a candy bar and a felony to kill a person, but I’m not sure I think it should be a class H felony to steal $1,000 worth of grease.
After scouring the internet and NC law documents, here are the top 10 most unusual laws I could find:
#1 It’s illegal to borrow your neighbor’s dog.
§ 14-82. Taking horses, mules, or dogs for temporary purposes.
If any person shall unlawfully take and carry away any horse, gelding, mare, mule, or dog, the property of another person, secretly and against the will of the owner of such property, with intent to deprive the owner of the special or temporary use of the same, or with the intent to use such property for a special or temporary purpose, the person so offending shall be guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor. And if you do happen to borrow your neighbor’s dog, make sure it stays off the grass as there are many pending Roundup Weed Killer class actions in North Carolina.
#2 Oral sex is a Class 1 Felony
§ 14-177. Crime against nature. If any person shall commit the crime against nature, with mankind or beast, he shall be punished as a Class I felon. Oral sex is considered a crime against nature based on several case laws. (specific case laws can be found here)
#3 You have to keep a detailed record of every cotton sale you make for at least a year.
§ 106-451.1. Purchasers of cotton to keep records of purchases.
Every cotton broker or other person buying cotton from the producer after it is ginned shall keep a record of such purchase for a period of one year from date of purchase. This record shall contain the name and address of the seller of the cotton, the date on which purchased, the weight or amount and the serial number of the bales provided for by G.S. 106-451. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor: Provided, any person, firm or corporation who purchases cotton which has been ginned outside this State shall be required to keep only so much of the records hereinabove specified as purchasers are required to keep by the law of the state where said cotton was ginned.”
#4 It’s illegal to hold an organizational meeting while wearing a mask (sorry furries)
§ 14-12.10. Holding meetings or demonstrations while wearing masks, hoods, etc.
No person or persons at least 16 years of age shall while wearing a mask, hood or device whereby the person, face or voice is disguised so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, hold any manner of meeting, or make any demonstration upon the private property of another unless such person or persons shall first obtain from the owner or occupier of the property his or her written permission to do so, which said written permission shall be recorded in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which said property is located before the beginning of such meeting or demonstration.
#5 It’s illegal to have sex in a hotel room if you’re not married (and it’s also illegal to lie about being married).
§ 14-186. Opposite sexes occupying same bedroom at hotel for immoral purposes; falsely registering as husband and wife. Any man and woman found occupying the same bedroom in any hotel, public inn or boardinghouse for any immoral purpose, or any man and woman falsely registering as, or otherwise representing themselves to be, husband and wife in any hotel, public inn or boardinghouse, shall be deemed guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
#6 It’s illegal to sniff glue in Huntersville
Huntersville city code § 130.01 MODEL GLUE; POSSESSION, USE REGULATED.
(A) Definition. As used in this section, the term MODEL GLUE shall mean any glue or cement of the type commonly used in the building of model airplanes, boats and automobiles, containing tuluol, hexane, trichloroethylene, isopropanol, methyl isobutyle ketone, methyl cellosolve acetate, cyclohexanone or other solvent or chemical having the property of releasing toxic vapors.
(B) Inhalation of fumes prohibited. No person shall, for the purpose of causing a condition of intoxication, euphoria, excitement, exhilaration, stupefaction or dulling of the senses or nervous system, intentionally smell or inhale the fumes from any model glue; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to the inhalation of any anesthesia for medical or dental purposes.
#7 It’s against the law to not pay taxes on any illegal drugs you deal.
NC § 105-113.107. Excise tax on unauthorized substances.(a)Controlled Substances. – An excise tax is levied on controlled substances possessed, either actually or constructively, by dealers at the following rates:
(1) At the rate of forty cents (40¢) for each gram, or fraction thereof, of harvested marijuana stems and stalks that have been separated from and are not mixed with any other parts of the marijuana plant.
(1a) At the rate of three dollars and fifty cents ($3.50) for each gram, or fraction thereof, of marijuana, other than separated stems and stalks taxed under subdivision (1) of this section.
(1b) At the rate of fifty dollars ($50.00) for each gram, or fraction thereof, of cocaine.
(2) At the rate of two hundred dollars ($200.00) for each gram, or fraction thereof, of any other controlled substance that is sold by weight.
#8 It’s now illegal to use climate change science to predict sea-level rise.
NC House Bill 819 (see full bill here) “§ 113A-107.1. Sea-level policy restrictions; calculation of rate of sea-level rise. 30 (a) No State agency, board, commission, institution, or other public entity thereof shall adopt any rule, policy, or planning guideline addressing sea-level rise, unless authorized to do 32 so under this Article.
#9 It’s illegal to serve alcohol at a bingo game.
§ 14-293. Allowing gambling in houses of public entertainment; penalty.
If any keeper of an ordinary or other house of entertainment, or of a house wherein alcoholic beverages are retailed, shall knowingly suffer any game, at which money or property, or anything of value, is bet, whether the same be in stake or not, to be played in any such house, or in any part of the premises occupied therewith; or shall furnish persons so playing or betting either on said premises or elsewhere with drink or other thing for their comfort or subsistence during the time of play, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Any person who shall be convicted under this section shall, upon such conviction, forfeit his license to do any of the businesses mentioned in this section, and shall be forever debarred from doing any of such businesses in this State. The court shall embody in its judgment that such person has forfeited his license, and no board of county commissioners, board of town commissioners or board of aldermen shall thereafter have power or authority to grant to such convicted person or his agent a license to do any of the businesses mentioned herein.
#10 Stealing over $1,000 of grease is a class H felony.
§ 14-79.2. Waste kitchen grease; unlawful acts and penalties.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to do any of the following:
(1) Take and carry away, or aid in taking or carrying away, any waste kitchen
grease container or the waste kitchen grease contained therein, which
container bears a notice that unauthorized removal is prohibited without
written consent of the owner of the container.
(2) Intentionally contaminate or purposely damage any waste kitchen grease
container or grease therein.
(3) Place a label on a waste kitchen grease container knowing that it is owned by
another person in order to claim ownership of the container.
(b) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be penalized as follows:
(1) If the value of the waste kitchen grease container, or the container and the
waste kitchen grease contained therein, is one thousand dollars ($1,000) or
less, it shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor.
(2) If the value of the waste kitchen grease container, or the container and the
waste kitchen grease contained therein, is more than one thousand dollars
($1,000), it shall be a Class H felony.
What do you think the craziest law in North Carolina is?