The 8 Weirdest, Strangest, and Stupidest Laws in Missouri

Every state has its fair share of strange laws and the ‘Mother of the West’ is no exception. For instance, as early as 1820, the law had declared that single men between the ages of 21 and 50 had to pay an annual $1 tax and in University city, having a ‘yard sale’ in your yard is against the law.

Below is a list of eight strange laws from the state of Missouri. Granted, some of the laws are obscure and have grown out of touch with modern society over time but they are still on the books and as long as a weird or irrelevant law is not causing any harm, state officials will not waste any resources in repealing the law.

1. The bachelor tax

In 1820, the Missouri legislature enacted a law that required all single men between the ages of 21 and 50 to pay an annual $1 dollar tax to the state government. Such ordinances, historically, would be put in place as part of a moral panic due to the important status given to marriage at various times and places. When this law went into effect, $1 was the equivalent of $20 today.

2. The hot air balloon tax.

This weird municipal edict from the city of Kansas imposes taxes on hot air balloons that are tethered to the ground but does not tax untethered hot air balloon rides.

When starting a business in Missouri, you need to understand the rules that the state imposes on businesses. Perhaps these guides on how to start an LLC in Missouri and how to find a great registered agent in Missouri can help you avoid any legal issues when opening or doing business in the state.

3. You cannot have a yard sale in your front yard

In University City, the city officials have made it illegal for any person to offer for sale any household goods in a yard or garage in front of the building line of the house or building in which the person resides.

4. Mandated drinking hours.

Anyone who owns a licensed bar in the City of Columbia is not allowed to sell any nonintoxicating beer to any person, in any quantity, upon or about his/her premises between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.

5. No clawfoot bathtubs allowed

This old and obscure edict from the city of Kansas prohibits the installation of bathtubs with clawed feet resembling animal paws. A possible reason for the enactment of the law is that city officials at the time wanted to prevent the use of real animal paws to manufacture clawfoot bathtubs.

6. Don’t kill the birds

In the city of Perryville in Perry County, it is illegal for anyone to injure or destroy any kind of bird within the city or to throw stones, shoot at or use any implements with the intention of killing or injuring any bird within the city. 

7. Asking people to ‘watch over’ your parked car is illegal.

Back to University city, according to municipal code 10.32.010, “It is unlawful for any person to solicit the privilege of watching or guarding a vehicle while parked on the streets of this city.”

8. Don’t shoot rabbits from motorboats

This clear-cut edict from the city of Kansas states that it is unlawful to take any game or fur-bearing animal from a motorboat, airplane, or motor vehicle. The only exception is when the hunter is handicapped and has a permit to hunt from his/her boat.


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