The ‘Hawkeye State’ has a couple of laws in its Constitution that are quite bizarre. For instance, it is illegal for waiters in restaurants to accept tips or any form of gratuity and church ministers are not allowed to carry their liquor across state lines.
Let’s have a look at eight of the strangest laws from the state of Iowa. Some of these ordinances were enacted a long time ago and are no longer in effect while others are still in the state Constitution.
1. You are allowed to shoot Native Americans if more than five of them are on your property.
During the days of Westward Expansion in the 19th century, white settlers, in what is now the state of Iowa, were at loggerheads with the native Indian population who saw the settlers as intruders. Bloody fights often broke out between the two groups and, at one point, the authorities gave the settlers the right to defend themselves by shooting at Indians if more than five of them invaded their property.
2. A board was created to regulate hearing aids
According to Iowa law, there has to be a board regulating hearing aids. This board shall consist of three licensed hearing aid dealers and two members who are not licensed hearing aid dealers who shall represent the general public.
3. Softball diamond lights should be off by 10:30 pm
All the lights at the Mount Vernon softball diamond should only be used for organized games and tournaments unless permission is obtained from the Parks and Recreation Director. Otherwise, all lights in the park should be switched off by 10:30 pm.
4. Don’t throw bricks on highways without permission
Still in the city of Mount Vernon, do not throw stones, bricks or missiles of any kind on or into any street, alley, highway, sidewalk, public way, public ground or public building without written permission from the city council.
5. Liquor stores shouldn’t place beer adverts outside their stores
Liquor store owners in the city of Bettendorf are not allowed to place signs promoting any brand of beer outside their establishments. Perhaps these guides on how to start an LLC in Iowa and how to find a great registered agent in Iowa can help you avoid any legal issues when opening or closing a business in the state.
6. No fortune-telling in Cedar Rapids
Clairvoyance, palmistry, phrenology or any kind of fortune-telling is prohibited within the city limits of Cedar Rapids in Linn County.
7. Doctors who treat a person with Gonorrhea must report this to the local board of health and include the disease’s “probable origin”.
This law was passed back in 1919 and states that any health practitioner who treats a person with a venereal disease should report the age, sex, color, marital condition and occupation of the diseased person to the local board of health of the city, town, or township located in the state of Iowa.
8. Hops boxes must be exactly 36 inches long.
Growing hops is critically important to producing beer, the primary product made from the crop. Craft brewing is growing in popularity in the state and so is growing hops. The state legislature has stepped in to control hops growing by standardizing the size for all boxes used in picking hops. They must be 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 23 1/4 inches deep.