Houston, TX

7 of the strangest laws in Houston. How many have you broken?

Ash Jurberg

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Lately, there has been a lot of focus on the new Texas anti-abortion law, which has led to protests ad debate.

Today I thought we could look at the lighter side of some laws from the past. A few of these are outdated but have been a law in Houston in the past or are still in place but not enforced.

Unusual San Antonio laws

1. If you are short of cash, don't think of selling any of your organs. Chapter 48, section 2 of the Texas Penal Code, states that you cannot sell your organs. Or buy organs from someone else.

2. If you like aerial hunting, you will be pleased to hear of a law passed in 2017. This makes it legal to get into a hot-air balloon, fly a few hundred feet, and start shooting at hogs and coyotes. This does seem a dangerous law, and you would need to have a damn good aim to ensure you don't hit an unintended target.

It seems like one of the most ill-conceived pieces of legislation I’ve ever heard of,” Phil Bryant, a hot air balloon pilot and owner of Ballooning Adventures of Texas, a hot air balloon company in Houston.

3. If you cruise the streets of Houston in your open-air Jeep, be aware that while you are not required to have a windshield, you must have windshield wipers. I wonder how effective wipers are when there are no windshields?

4. Liquor stores in Texas are allowed five permits. This limit is why there are so few liquor store chains across the state. So how did those big chains get more permits? Well, there are two exceptions.

Firstly if you owned a liquor store before May 1, 1949, you could have unlimited permits. The other loophole is that there is no limit if you have parents, children, or siblings in the liquor business. So families can join forces to create huge liquor chains- that's how the big Texas ones came to be!

5. Cheese fans, take note- it is illegal to sell Limburger cheese on Sundays in Houston. Any other day of the week is fine. Speaking of dairy, it is illegal to milk another person's cow; if you do this, you could be charged with theft.

6. In Houston and, in fact, all of Texas, the Encyclopedia Britannica is banned. The reason? It contains a recipe for making beer at home. And they don't want to encourage that. Luckily we now have Wikipedia and Google to overcome this!

7. Perhaps the strangest law I found was that if you intend on making someone a victim of a crime you commit, you must give them 24 hours' notice. Not sure if any criminal has done this.

While Houston has some bizarre laws, the most ridiculous Texan law is one in Kingsville. There it is illegal for pigs to make love at the airport. Other venues are OK, but just don't let them breed at an airport.

Readers, how many of these Houston laws have you inadvertently broken? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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San Antonio, TX

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