Remember this the next time you try and play Bingo with kids, or tap your feet to the music at your favorite bar. You might just be a criminal.

Bizarre laws

It is a tough job keeping up with the pile of laws in the state of New Hampshire, and the changes that are being made every year. That is why it might be hard to know whether or not taking your ferret hunting with you is legal or not.

I took it upon myself to find some of the most bizarre New Hampshire laws on the books. Some of these have been around so long that people have forgotten about them, but others are more recent (crazy) additions.

Searching "bizarre New Hampshire laws" brings up a good amount of online results, but most of these are not cited. I mean, I couldn't find evidence that New Hampshirites are not legally allowed to look upward while peeing on Sundays. The best ones I could confirm with sources can be found below.

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    Don't even think about harvesting sea weed at night

    This one has gotten some attention recently for being one of the dumbest laws in New Hampshire. You can pick up the slimy stuff during the day, but watch yourself when the sun goes down. Rep. Max Abramson challenged students to find the dumbest law that should be changed, and this is what they chose. The reason it exists? According to his Facebook page for dumb laws, the 1973 law was enacted because "a few people were pulling living rockweed and eelgrass off the beach and stone, and there were enforceability issues at night." The law will likely be repealed in the 2016 session. [Source]

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    You cannot sell your clothes to pay off gambling debt

    A bad choice at the casino can lead to you metaphorically "losing your shirt," but you cannot use that shirt to pay that debt in our state. This one is commonly cited when people mention strange New Hampshire laws, but it does not specifically mention clothing. Not sure if gamblers stripping down after a big loss was ever a thing, but then again I don't frequent casinos. [Source]

  • Stefan Redel
    Stefan Redel

    You can't inhale exhaust fumes on purpose to get high

    Ever looked at an exhaust pipe and thought to yourself: "Man. I would really like to put my mouth on that and suck in those sweet, sweet fumes." Well you can't make that brilliant decision legally in New Hampshire. Exhaust pipes are not mentioned specifically, but many see it falling under the definition of "toxic vapors, for the purpose of causing a condition of intoxication, euphoria, excitement, exhilaration, stupefaction, or dulled senses of the nervous system." For some reason, many websites refer to "bus fumes" when they reference this law, but I didn't find any specific reference to that in the legislation. [Source]

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    Don't you dare put anything besides dairy products in milk containers

    Want to put some Pepsi in your milk container, or fill it with some vanilla pudding? Tough luck because New Hampshire wants its containers to be used for that white juice exclusively. "No milk and milk product container shall be used as a receptacle for any substance other than dairy products." Don't insult the cows in our state. [Source]

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    You cannot use a ferret help you hunt

    Training a ferret to help me hunt wildlife has to be on of the last things on the old "to-do list." This was apparently a concern for local legislators, which is why there is a law that prohibits anyone from having one of these little guys tag along and help them hunt. [Source]

  • james steidl
    james steidl

    Keep the noise down on Sundays

    Don't make any noise or have any fun on Sundays because it belongs to The Man Upstairs. This old law forbids anyone from making a lot of noise, or having any fun, on Sundays. "No person shall do any work, business, or labor of his secular calling, to the disturbance of others, on the first day of the week, commonly called the Lord's Day, except works of necessity and mercy, and the making of necessary repairs upon mills and factories which could not be made otherwise without loss to operatives; and no person shall engage in any play, game, or sport on that day." [Source]

  • Mykola Velychko
    Mykola Velychko

    Adult can't play bingo with kids at private campgrounds or hotels

    New Hampshire seems to take Bingo very, very seriously. By law, adults are not allowed to play children's bingo games at hotels and campgrounds. Rep. James Webb has proposed a change that would allow them to play, but forbid them from claiming any prizes. This is serious business folks. [Source]

  • Siri Stafford
    Siri Stafford

    Showmen need permission from selectmen

    Performers are going to have to jump through some hoops, well, besides the ones they may use in their acts. "No showman, tumbler, rope dancer, ventriloquist or other person shall, for pay, exhibit any feats of agility, horsemanship, sleight of hand, rope dancing or feats with cards, or any animals, wax figures, puppets or other show, or promote any public competition, without a license from the selectmen of the town." [SOURCE]

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    You can't pretend to be someone else at a hotel

    It is illegal to check into a hotel under an assumed name. This is  to prevent any fraud or avoidance of payment to a hotel or inn, but also makes playing secret agent a lot less fun. Remember that the next time you visit a hotel and want to say you are "Bond. James Bond." [Source] 

  • Ivan Sedlak
    Ivan Sedlak

    Don't be dancing to the music on your night out

    This is another weird law that has a certain purpose, but can be applied in ridiculous ways. There are laws about entertainment in taverns, restaurants or cafes, but the wording of the law makes it against the law to "tap your feet, nod your head, or keep time in any way with the music." Who knows what kind of Footloose debauchery could happen with all of this toe-tappin'? [Source]

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    You can't help clean this park without a permit

    Keep this in mind if you want to help clean up the White Mountain National Forest in our state. You cannot rake the beaches, pick up litter haul away trash, or make other changes there without a permit. Those caught violating this particular rule may be fine $150 for "maintaining the national forest without a permit.” [SOURCE]

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