Strangest Laws in Wyoming

Did you know that you can be fined a whopping $750 for forgetting to close a gate after crossing a road or a river within the state of Wyoming? It’s also illegal for junk dealers to make transactions with intoxicated individuals.

These are just a few of the wacky laws within the ‘Cowboy’ State’s Constitution. Some of these strange laws have flown under the radar of law enforcement officials due to their obscure nature as they were enacted in a bygone era when society was more conservative than it is today. Others have been revised, amended, or repealed to keep up with the changing times.

Below is a fascinating list of eight peculiar laws from ‘Big Wyoming’ that every visitor or state resident should be aware of.

1. Fishing with a firearm is prohibited

This state law has declared that “no person shall take, wound or destroy any fish of Wyoming with a firearm of any kind or nature. Fish may only be taken or fished for with a maximum of two rods or poles, with lines and hooks attached, and with the user in attendance.”

2. Being intoxicated inside a mine could land you in jail for up to a year

Any person who, while under the influence of alcohol, enters a mine, smelter, metallurgical works, machine shops or sawmills, logging or grading camp, or any of the buildings connected with the operation of the same in Wyoming, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined in any sum not exceeding $500 and/or a jail term not exceeding one year.

3. Junk dealers are prohibited from transacting business with drunk persons

Title 33, Chapter 18 Sec. 105 of Wyoming law states that “No person, firm or corporation engaged in the buying or selling of junk metals, rubber, rags or paper, shall purchase any articles from any person appearing to be intoxicated, nor from any person known to have been convicted of larceny or theft, and when any person is found to be the owner of stolen property, which had been so sold, the property shall be returned to the owner thereof without the payment of any money on the part of the owner.”

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

4. You could be fined $750 for forgetting to close a gate

If you open a gate and forget to close it, you can be slapped with a fine of up to $750 and a misdemeanor placed on your record. Especially gates located on private roads, rivers, streams or ditches. These gates are critical for the safety of livestock and humans as they keep animals in or out of a specified area. There have been many, fatal road accidents resulting from someone forgetting to close a fence or gate.

5. If you construct a building worth $100,000, 1% of the funds must go towards purchasing artworks

Title 16, Chapter 6 Sec. 802 of Wyoming building code states that “The original construction of any new building shall include works of art for public display, which shall be included by the agency in determining total construction costs of the building at an amount equal to one percent (1%) of total costs but not to exceed one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) on any one (1) project. Any new construction project for which the total cost is less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) is exempt from this subsection.”

6. It’s illegal to wear a hat in such a way that it obstructs views in a place of amusement or in a public theater

Cowboy hats are a common accessory in Wyoming. A law had to be passed to protect those who get stuck behind big hats. Whether you’re at a rodeo or a symphony, make sure everyone behind you can see past your 10-gallon hat. 

7. Don’t tattoo a horse

Branding has been used for centuries as a way of identifying stolen or lost livestock. Ranchers today have adopted tattooing as a more cost-effective and less painful method of marking to identify their animals. The state, however, has a law against tattooing animals if the intent is to make the animal unrecognizable to its owner.

8. Skiing while under the influence of alcohol is illegal

This law may seem a bit obvious but there have been a couple of accidents involving drunk skiers in some of the ski resorts in the state. The state legislature moved in to stop the issue by enacting a law that states “No person shall move uphill on any passenger tramway or use any ski slope or trail while such person’s ability to do so is impaired by the consumption of alcohol or by the use of any illicit, controlled substance or other drugs.”

Sources

Wyoming Statutes – 6-9-202
Wyoming Statutes – 23-3-201
Wyoming Statutes – 35-10-402
Wyoming Statutes – 33-18-105
Wyoming Statutes – 16-6-802
Wyoming Statutes – 6-9-301
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