The 8 Weirdest, Strangest and Stupidest Laws in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, like every other state, is no stranger to peculiar laws. For instance, there is a law that bans ‘watch stuffers’ from operating in the city of McKeesport and another one that bars anyone other than the state from owning a liquor store.

We scoured the law books for some of the strangest laws in the Keystone State that we could confirm so you can avoid being penalized for something like shooting a swimming bison.

1. ‘Dealing’ in infants is against the law

Most people would agree that people who engage in child trafficking should be put away for a long time, the Pennsylvania legislature even put out a law stating the illegality of trading, bartering, buying, selling, or dealing in infant children. However, the perpetrator should rest easy as the crime is considered a misdemeanor in the state.

2. ‘Watch stuffers’ are not welcome in McKeesport

A ‘watch stuffer’ is a person who pawns off poor or worthless watches as good ones. The city of McKeesport has decided to discourage this business practice by banning it altogether.

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

3. Singing or whistling is considered a nuisance by law

In the borough of Danville, it is illegal to yell, shout, hoot, whistle or sing between 11 pm to 7 am so as to annoy and disturb the quiet comfort or peace of persons in any office, dwelling, hotel or other type of residence, or of any persons in the vicinity.

4. It’s illegal to ride in a boat on a trailer while it’s being towed on the highway

According to state law, it is illegal to occupy a house trailer, mobile home or boat on a trailer while it’s being moved on a public highway.

5. Liquor stores are run by the state

In 1933 during the era of Prohibition, the state’s Republican governor, Gifford Pinchot, called a special session of the General Assembly to create the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for the express purpose of discouraging the purchase of alcoholic beverages “by making it as inconvenient and expensive as possible.” A law was passed that made the state government the only approved reseller of wines and spirits. 

6. Ex-felons are not allowed to operate a Bingo game

According to chapter 105 section 13 of the city of Bensalem’s municipal code, “No distributor nor any person who has been convicted of a felony or of a violation of the Bingo Law or of this chapter or of any comparable state or federal law shall have a pecuniary interest in the operation or proceeds of games of chance.”

7. It’s prohibited to use Koi or Goldfish as bait when fishing

Chapter 63 section 44 of PA law states that ”It is unlawful for a person to use or possess Goldfish (Carassius auratus), Comets (Carassius auratus), Koi (Cyprinus carpio) and Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) as bait fish while fishing.”

8. Discharging a cannon during a wedding is prohibited

It’s against the law to discharge a gun, cannon, revolver or other explosive weapons at a public event.


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