Six Crazy Laws in Mississippi That Will Surprise You

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Though the deep south may be known for being a bit backwards in some areas, these Mississippi laws go above and beyond common sense.
If you go fishing in Oxford, Mississippi, be sure to leave your Uzi at homeWikimedia

Every state has a few really strange laws that are still on the books, and Mississippi is no exception. Some make a certain kind of sense but seem weird regardless. Others that have been around for decades or longer often don't have their original context and because of this may just be misunderstood. Then there are some that it is practically impossible to come up with a context where they would make sense. Here are several of Mississippi’s odder laws that will have you laughing, shaking your head or both.

1) It is Illegal in Hazlehurst to Fish Using an Uzi

One can’t help but ask, just how many people in this small town were doing this for this law to be necessary? For those of you who are unfamiliar with this gun, the Uzi is an Israeli manufactured submachine gun used by the Israeli military and subsequently sold to military, law enforcement and security markets around the world. The submachine gun fires 600 rounds per minute, but magazines typically only have 40 bullets. So before reloading you can shoot 40 bullets in 4 seconds.

A few questions come to mind. How many fish would that get you? Doesn’t this give you just a little bit of an unfair advantage against a fish? And just how big are the fish that you are shooting?

Given that Hazlehurst is three to four hours from the gulf and the only bodies of water in the city are lakes that are reservoirs made by dams or a few creeks, one has to wonder how large the fish can possibly be. Even if you were after big salt water fish like tuna or grouper, if in fact they came close enough to the surface for you to be able to shoot them, using a semiautomatic would shred them. With smaller lake fish, it’s hard to fathom how much of the fish would be left after shooting it with an Uzi. So, when fishing in Hazlehurst Mississippi, leave the Uzi at home an try the more traditional rod and reel. You’ll find it much more relaxing and likely finish the day with a much larger haul.

2) In Truro, Mississippi before a Man Gets Married, the Groom to Be Must Prove Himself Manly Prior to Marriage by Hunting and Killing 6 Blackbirds or 3 Crows.

Guess what they’re serving at the reception dinner? The month of June must be pretty awful in Truro, Mississippi. Apparently if you’re not blood thirsty, you’re not considered manly enough to marry in this city. It would seem like the blackbirds and crows would have figured out the score by now and taken Truro off their migration map.

3) If a person is a parent to two illegitimate children, they must go to jail for at least one month.

Remember folks, this is the part of the bible belt. Good thing Hugh Grant, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Ray Charles and Prince Albert of Monaco didn’t have their children in Mississippi.
Door YasmineAliceD - Eigen werk, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

4) It is Unlawful to Cheer in Oxford Mississippi, unless one has good reason to do so.

Planning on going to an Old Miss game in Oxford? Better be cautious when cheering. And if you are there rooting for the other team, you better just sit there silently, with your hands in your lap no matter how great your team does. Cheering for another team against Old Miss would certainly not be considered a good reason.

5) According to Mississippi Law, Drugstores in the State Are Not Allowed to Sell Poison to Children.

Apparently, if you are an adult, however, you an buy all the poison you want, no questions asked.

6) It is illigal in Temperance Mississippi to take a dog for a walk unless the animal is wearing a diaper.

If you are a dog owner living in Temperance before taking your pet for a walk, don't forget to put on it's diaper. This is one of those laws that although odd, makes some kind of sense. If means that you don't have to pick anything up that your dog decides to deposit along the way and that there won't be the problem of things left behind by those individuals who don't clean up after their dogs. It does, however, raise the issue of cat envy.
In Temperance be sure your dog is properly dressed before taking them on a walk istolethetv (CC BY 2.0)

Know of any other things that are surprisingly illegal or legal in Mississippi? Be sure to share them in the comments.

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