10 Things That Are Illegal in the US – While Semi-Automatic Weapons Aren’tApr 17, 2019
America, as we all know, is the land of the free. It’s so free, that in fact, if you want to own 40 semi-automatic assault rifles, it’s your right. Stephen Paddock, the man who killed 58 people in Las Vegas last year, was able to acquire over 40 weapons without violating Nevada state law or American Federal law.
So, you want to buy a dozen AR 15 assault rifles? Go nuts. But if you want to eat a Kinder chocolate egg? Well, you might have to book a plane ticket, cause you’re not getting one here. Here’s a list of ten weird things that are illegal in the United States, while semi-automatic rifles aren’t.
1. Kinder Eggs (US-wide)
Every grocery store in Europe has a selection of Kinder chocolate covered eggs, but folks in the US aren’t so lucky, since the FDA has kept them illegal since the 1930s. Why, exactly? Well, any food with a ‘non-nutritive object embedded’ is illegal in the United States, and because Kinder Eggs contain a small toy in the centre of the hollow milk-chocolate, you aren’t allowed to buy one. Maybe the $500 flight to Europe is worth it, though.
2. Any children’s book printed before 1985 (US-wide)
Have you ever found a dusty old book in your attic that you read all the time when you were a kid? Well, hopefully it has some sentimental value, because if you try and sell it at a garage sale, you’re in violation of federal law. Why? Apparently books printed before 1985 contain traces of lead, which can cause brain damage in children. This one isn’t totally unreasonable, but I’m pretty sure that an AR-15 assault rifle is still more dangerous to have around in the house.
3. Haggis (US-wide)
Haggis is banned because it contains sheep’s lung, which has been prohibited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a while now. According to the USDA, the disease ‘scrapie’, which is common in sheep, poses a risk to American consumers. Here’s the thing – there is absolutely no scientific evidence that scrapie can be contracted by humans through eating. Still though, I can’t imagine too many people being distraught because they’ll never get to devour a hearty piece of sheep’s lung.
4. Toy guns (Las Vegas Strip)
Want to walk around with a real semi-automatic rifle on the Las Vegas Strip? Go ahead, you’re protected by the Second Amendment. Want to carry around a toy gun that is brightly-colored and made for children? Not happening. A ban on toy guns was introduced a few years back in Las Vegas, to clamp down on unlicensed street performers. Well, I guess they’ll just have to use real guns from now on.
5. Dictionaries (classrooms in Southern California)
Following a complaint from a parent in 2010 that her child had looked up the definition of ‘oral sex’, dictionaries were banned from classrooms in Southern California. The dictionary’s definition of the term is “oral stimulation of the genitals”, and apparently that was enough to get dictionaries banned from schools across the state. Anyone want to see if they can find a definition for ‘facepalm’?
6. Being annoying while selling ice cream (Patterson, New Jersey)
According to the city of Patterson’s penal code, you can’t be annoying if you’re trying to sell ice cream. The law states, ‘It shall be unlawful for any person covered by this article to importune, threaten or otherwise annoy any person for the purpose of effecting a purchase’. You also can’t engage in the business of selling ice cream between 9pm and 9am, but I guess going out for late night treat isn’t really a thing, anyway.
7. The Ice Bucket Challenge (if you’re a diplomat)
Remember when everybody was doing that ice-bucket challenge to raise awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)? Well, if you were a United States diplomat, you couldn’t take part in it. Why? It’s illegal for holders of US public office to use that status for private gain, even for a charitable cause. Although to be honest, I’m not sure that many of the eggheads in the US Treasury office would want to be covered in ice water from head to toe.
8. Eggs that haven’t been stored in a refrigerator (US-wide)
Here’s a weird one: eggs that are legal in England would be illegal in the United States, and eggs that are legal in the United States would be illegal in England. Why? Well, it is illegal to sell eggs that have been refrigerated in England, and it is illegal to sell eggs that haven’t been refrigerated in the United States. The reason for the distinction is that the FDA is concerned about the possible spread of salmonella, which is killed off at low temperatures, whereas the British Health Standards Agency is concerned that moving eggs from a cold to a warm environment (for example, when they’re being transported from the store to your home) can cause a dangerous build-up of bacteria.
9. Kangaroo Boxing (North Dakota)
It violates animal cruelty laws to hold a Kangaroo Boxing event in the state of North Dakota. Has this led to a huge underground market for Kangaroo Boxing matches, or a number of people crossing the border to South Dakota for their Kangaroo boxing fix? Not exactly. Kangaroo boxing has never been popular in the United States, but I suppose North Dakota is to be congratulated for having the foresight to ban it just in case it ever became a national pastime. I can’t see it ever becoming America’s national sport, but then again, I never thought Donald Trump would become President, so what do I know?
10. Fishing at the wrong time (US-wide)
In 2006, Judge Robert G. James decided that going fishing at a point where a body of water is beyond its ordinary high-water mark would become a violation of federal law. Breaking the law is a criminal offense, so it’s best to stick to fishing only when the water is at its normal level. This was made law after some anglers in Louisiana started fishing on a property that became flooded.