If you live in Tennessee or think of moving to Tennessee, you might want to know about some crazy laws in that state. They might seem as weird, but they are actual laws. Some weird Tennessee laws are antiquated, but others are more recent. Here are the 20 weirdest laws that come from the state of Tennessee.
20. It's illegal for kids to hold hands in school
In 2012, the Senate passed SB 3310, a bill that defines holding hands in school as a gateway to sexual activities. The bill was voted in by 28 senators, and it was approved as a law. Breaking this law results in a lawsuit. The law allows parents to sue any teacher that breaks the law by ‘demonstrating gateway sexual activity’. It also bans the distribution of materials that promote sexual activity among students. The senate may sue a teacher if they ask students to hold hands during a class demonstration even if the curriculum approves the teaching.
19. Within the borders of the state of Tennessee, it is illegal for you to share your Netflix password
Sharing Netflix passwords is a common practice among family and friends. Tennessee passed a law in June 2011 that makes it illegal to share your Netflix login. The law aims to stop the illegal sharing of music and movies and thus helps promote the work of local artists. According to iheart, if you share your Netflix, Rhapsody, or Hulu Plus passwords, you could land a jail term or be fined. If the crime is severe, like selling passwords to subscribers, the court may find you guilty of a felony.
18. It is illegal to post images online that cause emotional distress without a legitimate purpose
In Tennessee, it is a crime to 'transmit or display an image online that is likely to frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress to someone who sees it. It is an excellent law, but the wording is just off. What legitimate purpose can a person have to cause emotional distress to another? If you violate this law, you can land a jail term or a fine not exceeding $2500. The law states that if you post any image online, all the people who view that image are potential victims. If the court proves that you had prior knowledge that an image can cause emotional distress or it could be upsetting to someone, then you are fined or face a jail term.
17. It's illegal to gather and consume roadkill
The above law is stated in the 'Roadkill Law,' which includes regulations for wild animals accidentally killed on the road. The law states that 'If the animal is not a non-game or federally protected wildlife species, you may possess it for your personal use and consumption. You may possess a bear only if you have a receipt issued by the TWRA. You may possess a deer only if you: Notify the TWRA or a law enforcement officer within 48 hours.'
16. You cannot shoot any game other than whales from a moving automobile
The above law states that you cannot shoot wild animals other than whales from a moving vehicle. Tennessee is a landlocked state, meaning there are no whales in the state unless maybe in a park or an aquarium. The law is only specific to automobiles, but it does not include bicycles and motorcycles, which makes it hard to comprehend, but that is why it is called a weird law.
15. You cannot sell hollow logs
It is downright wrong to sell hollow logs in Tennessee. According to USAToday, this law aims at protecting innocent citizens from unscrupulous log dealers who target innocent clients. It may be a weird law, but it's right to be considerate to other people.
14. More than eight women may not live in the same house because that would be considered a brothel
In Tennessee, there are no sorority houses for women. It is illegal for eight women to live in the same house because they emit excessively high estrogen levels. Estrogen is a hormone that is active in all women. Any house that has more than eight women is considered a brothel. Law enforcers use this law to identify drug houses. The law states clearly that this does not affect family members with blood relations, and if need be, you can do genetic testing to prove the same.
13. It's illegal for women to approach men suggestively
Independent women cannot drive around the state with their windows rolled down and wink or call men over to their cars in Tennessee. It is also illegal for a woman to call a man and ask them out for a date. This law is weird, and we may not be sure what it is preventing. Maybe it's aimed at preventing illegal prostitution or any uncouth female behavior.
12. It's illegal to advertise fortune telling in the City of Knoxville
Fortune telling is one of the booming businesses in America. Many businesses closed down during the Covid 19 pandemic, but fortunetelling thrived. The future is unseen, and many people are searching for predictability in a world of uncertainties. Statistics reveal that one in seven Americans visit fortune-tellers.
Since 2005 research shows that the U.S psychic industry reports a revenue of $2.2 billion every year, and it is among the hundred fastest-growing businesses in America. But this is not the case in the state of Tennessee. In Knoxville, Tennessee, it's illegal to advertise by a newspaper, circulars, or signs any forms of palmistry, astrology, mediumship, numerology, and any form of mysteries and magic.
Breaking this law attracts a fine of $144.50. It is also illegal to hire and reward a person to foretell, disclose and reveal the past, present, or future occurrences through occult or mysterious powers. Subsection (a) of this section gives an exemption to accredited religious and spiritual functions performed by a priest or an ordained minister.
11. Any person who participates in a duel may not hold a public office
According to Ranker, the law was published in 2014 in article IX of the state's constitution of Tennessee. The law states that duelists cannot vie for a public or a political seat. So if you are a future politician, it is good to leave your sword at home.
10. In Memphis, it's considered a noise ordinance violation for frogs to croak after 11 pm
This is a weird law, and one may wonder why Memphis legislators spent drafting and passing this law. According to Ilovememphisblog, the effectiveness and applicability of the law are also questionable because if someone calls the cops that there is a law-breaking frog, what will they do? Will they kill the frog or take it away? It is bizarre.
9. Stealing a horse is punishable by hanging
Yes! This is an actual crime in Tennessee. The law is outdated, but it is still enforceable. Back in the day, people used horses as the primary source of livelihood, and they were significant animals. Suppose a person was found stealing a horse; that was a serious crime punishable by hanging. The law was meant to protect the livelihood of individuals.
8. You cannot carry animals known as skunks into the state of Tennessee
It is illegal for state residents to carry foreign skunks into the state of Tennessee. The law enforcers argue that foreign skunks can disrupt the natural ecosystem, and they may compete with the local species. Skunks are also notorious for carrying rabies. The law was created to prevent such diseases from entering the state. If you break this law, it is a class C misdemeanor.
7. To play pinball, one must be 18 years old in Nashville
A weird law, right? At 18, who wants to play pinball? According to the city Code of laws, 'it is unlawful in Nashville for any person owning a pinball machine to allow a minor under the age of eighteen years to play pinball machines.' The law was legislated to protect minors because pinball machines were mainly gambling devices, but today it is a game of amusement.
6. Interracial marriages are illegal
It might sound like an outdated law, but Tennessee never updated its law on interracial marriages. Within the state borders of Tennessee, it is illegal for a white man to marry a black woman and vice versa. In this day and era where everyone is against racial discrimination and any form of racism, I think it's high time the state reconsiders this law because it is a weird law.
5. It is illegal in Memphis to give any pie to fellow diners, and it is illegal to take an unfinished pie home
This is a weird law because it requires people to eat pies in restaurants. According to Travellerspoint, any unfinished pie should be left in the restaurant to be disposed. So you cannot enjoy your favorite leftover pie in the middle of the night. Also, what is the harm in sharing a pie with fellow diners, like a friend, absolutely weird?
4. No Christian parent may require their children to pick up trash from the highway on Easter day
Article XI on Miscellaneous Provisions Section 15 states that 'No person in time of peace is required to perform any service to the public on any day set apart by his religion as a day of rest.' Easter is a religious holiday for Christians, and in many states, it's normal for Christians to perform any service to the public on this religious holiday. That is not the case in Tennessee. The state of Tennessee values religious holidays and considers them a day of rest.
3. It is illegal to use a lasso to catch a fish
Tennessee is a great place to go fishing. The only restriction is that you cannot use a lasso for fishing. The only good means of fishing in this state is to use a fishing pole. You can use a reel, rod, or hook to fish. The use and possession of any other instrument in catching, killing, or taking a fish out of its aquatic life is strictly forbidden.
2. Ministers are dedicated to God and are not eligible to hold a political seat
In Tennessee, ministers of God, pastors, reverends, and apostles are not allowed to vie for a political seat. The law prevents them from being involved in politics so that they can concentrate on the work of God and provide moral and societal guidance to members of the community. If they get into politics, society will be left without anyone to provide spiritual guidance. This may be a weird law because, in some states, ministers of God are allowed to vie for political seats, and this does not interfere with their role in the church.
1. It’s illegal to transport an ice cream cone in your pocket
In Kentucky, it is illegal to carry ice cream in your pocket. You may be wondering why there is a law on ice cream. I mean, who doesn't eat ice cream? Second, how would you put an ice cream cone in your pocket? It sounds weird. As weird as it may sound, the law was inducted to prevent horse theft. You may wonder how? Horses will likely follow you if you carry an ice cream cone in your pocket; they have a high affinity to sweat and sugary things. If a horse follows you home, you will be accused of theft, and it could land you a jail term or a fine. There you have it. If you are moving to Tennessee, don't carry an ice cream cone in your pocket.
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Written by Dana Hanson
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