The 8 Weirdest, Strangest, and Stupidest Laws in South Dakota

South Dakota has some pretty weird laws in its state and county Constitutions. For instance, you can’t air a movie that shows police officers being beaten or treated offensively and you cannot convince a pacifist to renounce his beliefs by threatening to arm-wrestle him. Most laws like these are old and obscure and police officers are not too keen on enforcing them.

Below is a list of six strange laws from the ‘Mount Rushmore State’ that you probably have broken at some time.

1. If there are more than five Indians on your property, you may shoot them

This obscure law was enacted a very long time ago when Native Americans were at loggerheads with the settler community in what is now the South Dakota territory. The natives would organize raiding parties into the settlers’ farms and the situation would get pretty ugly. The local authority gave the settlers the right to protect themselves but only if there were more than five Indians on a single property.

2. Pacifists should not be threatened

It’s not clear how this edict came into being but apparently, South Dakota is not a good place to be a pacifist. So much so that the state government outlawed the intimidation of anyone with anti-war views including coercing them into arm-wrestling in an effort to change their views.

5. The twin bed law

In the city of Sioux falls, every hotel room must have twin beds two feet apart and love cannot be made between the beds. 

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

6. Strictly no abortions, even if a woman is sexually assaulted

On 6 March 2006, South Dakota’s Governor, Michael Rounds, signed a bill to ban abortions in the state unless they are necessary to save the life of the mother. The bill has no exceptions to protect the woman’s health or in cases of rape or incest. Doctors who perform abortions face fines and jail terms.

7. Don’t use fireworks to protect your sunflower crop

Birds like Chickadees and Cardinals have proven to be a major problem for many sunflower farmers in the state. They invade in their thousands and feed on the sunflower seeds making life miserable for farmers, some of whom result in unorthodox solutions like using fireworks to chase away the birds. The state authority moved in to stop this dangerous pest control method as it could result in major farm fires.

8. Don’t paint the cops in a bad light

South Dakota holds its law enforcement officers in very high esteem. So high that the state legislature has outlawed the airing of any movie that shows police officers being struck, beaten, or treated in an offensive manner.


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