10 Odd California Laws

Are You in the Mood for Some Chuckles About Some Laws in California? Well, You Have Come to the Right Place!

Here are ten odd laws in California that might leave you shaking your head, scratching your brain, or asking the question, “Why would someone need a law for that?” 

From whistling in public places to the use of nuclear devices, let’s take a ride through some of California’s wackiest laws. Let’s get started!

10 Strange Laws of California Infographic

1. A Chico, California law prohibits the use of nuclear devices within city limits.

2. It is unlawful to shoot at any game bird or mammal, including a marine mammal from a powerboat, sailboat, motor vehicle, or airplane.

3. You may not remove a rock from a city park in Los Angeles.   

4. The number of potbellied pigs allowed per household is no more than 2 in Chowchilla, California.

5. In Glendale, California, no person shall board or alight from any vehicle while such vehicle is in motion.

6. No person shall dress or undress or leave or store any clothing in any bakery in Long Beach, California.

7. In Fresno, Bingo games must be open to the public, no private games.

8. Horses are prohibited on the median of any city street in the City of Los Angeles.

9. In Los Angeles, fortune tellers may not legally advertise.  

10. No singing on the public streets of Sacramento, particularly between the hours of 10  p.m. and 7 a.m. or at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort, or repose of city dwellers.


No, No, Nuclear!

Chico, California is a no-go zone for all the world’s nuclear scientists and fans of Robert Oppenheimer’s work.

In fact, it prohibits the use of any nuclear devices within the city limits, so it’s best to leave your homemade nuclear reactor or any unstable uranium at home before paying a visit.

Fortunately, the city offers all sorts of fantastic things to do and see that don’t involve setting off any nuclear bombs, ranging from cultural museums to scenic parks and tourist attractions. So leave your mushroom clouds at home and come explore all that Chico has to offer!  [1]

mad scientest

Hunting From the Highway?

In California, it is strictly forbidden to shoot at any game bird or mammal while aboard a powerboat, sailboat, motor vehicle, or airplane.

This means that hunters must ensure that they are standing firmly on the ground when they shoot at their targets, and they must resist the urge to take aim from a passing bus or zipping past on a motorcycle.

It might seem like a good idea to hunt wild animals using unique and unconventional methods, but to avoid any trouble with the law, hunters must keep both feet on the ground.

It’s hard to deny that bagging a big game animal from a speeding powerboat or high-flying airplane might seem like an incredible feat, but hunters who attempt to do so will undoubtedly face severe legal consequences. Therefore, it is best to adhere to this silly law and hunt on foot like everybody else! [2]

man with rifle next to car

Removing Rocks Against the Rules?

This law might make sense to the average person, but there are some who take it way too seriously. I mean, who wants to be caught taking sand or grass from public areas, right? But what about that one time I saw a person tripping over an exposed rock?

Are we supposed to leave that there? And don’t even get me started on the soil! What if I need some dirt for my garden? Sorry, officer, I didn’t mean to break the law, I just couldn’t resist the allure of some good quality soil. Maybe we should start a black market for sand, gravel, and rocks! [3]

man in desert surrounded by rocks

Plentiful Pigs Prohibited 

In Chowchilla, California, they take their potbellied pigs quite seriously. Residents of this charming town are only allowed to keep two of these four-legged domesticated animals on their property at any given time.

While farmers and animal lovers everywhere might be up in arms about this rule, Chowchilla is determined to uphold this regulation.

Citizens must ensure that their pigs are not causing any disturbances, so if you’re thinking of getting yourself a couple of porkers, be sure to keep them well-behaved and in line.

The town doesn’t want to end up on the wrong side of a porcine uprising.
So, if you’re a pig enthusiast and have been considering adopting a few, Chowchilla isn’t a bad place to call home, just make sure you don’t go over the limit! [4]


Don’t Alight Until It’s Alright!

“Alight means to descend from a train, bus, or other form of transport.”

In Glendale, California, it is illegal to board or alight from any moving vehicle. So, if you’re driving down the road and you suddenly realize you forgot your Starbucks order, make sure to come to a complete stop before jumping out of the car to run back to the store.

And if you’re a daredevil and think it’s a good idea to exit your vehicle while it’s still in motion, you better think again. Unless you have superhero-like reflexes and can safely tuck and roll out of your car, it’s probably best to stay put until you come to a complete stop.

So, next time you’re cruising through Glendale, make sure to abide by this wacky law and keep all your limbs inside the car until it comes to a stop. [5]


Blouse in the Breadbasket?

Well, it seems that the state of California is quite serious about its baked goods. There is a law, which prohibits any individual from dressing or undressing in any bakery or store room.

What this means is that if you find yourself looking for an impromptu changing room and happen to stumble upon a nearby bakery, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Similarly, if you were hoping to store your jacket or clutch in the stockroom of your favorite pastry shop, you’ll need to rethink your strategy.

Apparently, clothing and baked goods just don’t mix, and California is taking steps to keep these two things as far apart as possible. Let’s hope that this new law doesn’t result in a batch of burnt croissants or soggy bagels! [6]


No Bingo in the Backroom!

In California, the state rocks when it comes to Bingo games. Although the state might have unusually specific regulations for Bingo halls, there is nothing quite as absurd as the “no private games” rule.

That’s right! According to this rule, all Bingo games must remain open to the public. So if you were planning on having a cozy little Bingo game with your friends in your living room, think again!

California is keeping a watchful eye on all private Bingo games and enforcing this bizarre regulation. Maybe it’s for the best, though: since when do we trust a room full of friends to not come up with zany and bizarre Bingo house rules? Keep it public, California! [7]

Four elderly folks playing bingo

Keep the Mustangs off the Median!

Yes, this law is true! According to the Los Angeles Municipal Code, horses are not allowed on the median of any street in the city of Los Angeles.

One can imagine a scenario where a horse-drawn carriage stops in the middle of a busy street and refuses to move, effectively blocking traffic.

While it’s a somewhat unlikely scenario, it’s still essential to have laws in place that address all potential concerns!

So, if you ever find yourself riding a horse in Los Angeles, remember to stay off the median. The police will be there, ready to enforce the law.

But hey, if you’re looking for a more pleasant horseback riding experience, there are plenty of beautiful trails and paths to explore outside the city! [8]

well dressed man in street with horse mask on

Fortune-teller Flyers Forbidden!

In a world full of uncertainties, sometimes we just need some clarity, guidance, or a little reassurance. But in Los Angeles, you might have to resort to other methods of finding answers instead of approaching a fortune teller.

It’s not that there’s a shortage of fortune tellers in the city or that using them is illegal, but advertising their services is strictly prohibited by law. This means you might have to wander around the busy streets, looking for clues like a scavenger hunt, hoping to stumble upon a magic door or a mysterious crystal ball.

Or perhaps, you could try the old-fashioned method of deciphering the messages in your tea or coffee cups or following the alignment of the stars in the sky to get an idea of what the future may hold.

Whatever method you choose, just remember that in the City of Angels, fortune-telling is a covert operation. [9]

no fortune tellers

Silence the Singing in Sacramento!

While it may seem absurd, the law in Sacramento is clear: no singing on public streets between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., or at any other time or place that could annoy or disturb the peace of city dwellers.

This law means that if you’re feeling a little too lyrically creative and want to let your talents shine, you better choose a private venue, rent a karaoke machine or move to another city.

Whether you’re a professional singer, an amateur crooner or simply humming to yourself, be mindful of the time and location of your musical displays, lest you risk facing the wrath of annoyed neighbors or law enforcement.

So, if you’re in Sacramento and feel the urge to sing your heart out, make sure you do so in the safe confines of your own home or in a place specially designated for that purpose. After all, no one wants to disrupt the comfort and repose of the city dwellers. [10]


[1] Chico and the ban – UPI Archives. (1983, November 8). UPI. https://www.upi.com/Archives/1983/11/08/Chico-and-the-ban/9690437115600/

[2] Codes Display Text. (n.d.). Codes Display Text. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=FGC&division=4.&title=&part=1.&chapter=1.&article=1.

[3] SEC. 63.44. REGULATIONS AFFECTING PARK AND RECREATION AREAS. (n.d.). American Legal Publishing. https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/los_angeles/latest/lamc/0-0-0-159459

[4] Municode Library. (n.d.). Municode Library. https://library.municode.com/ca/chowchilla_city/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=COOR_TIT6AN_CH6.04DOCAOTDOAN_6.04.045MANUDOAN

[5] 10.64.010 Boarding or alighting from vehicles in motion. (n.d.). 10.64.010 Boarding Or Alighting From Vehicles In Motion. https://library.qcode.us/lib/glendale_ca/pub/municipal_code/item/title_10-chapter_10_64-10_64_010

[6] Municode Library. (n.d.). Municode Library. https://library.municode.com/ca/long_beach/codes/municipal_code?nodeId=TIT8HESA_CH8.20BA_8.20.110DRCLSTPR

[7] It is against the law to hold a private bingo game. – Stupid Laws. (n.d.). It Is Against the Law to Hold a Private Bingo Game. – Stupid Laws. https://www.stupidlaws.com/it-is-against-the-law-to-hold-a-private-bingo-game/

[8] SEC. 62.95.1. HORSEBACK RIDING PROHIBITED ON MEDIANS. (n.d.). American Legal Publishing. https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/los_angeles/latest/lamc/0-0-0-157915

[9] SEC. 43.30. FORTUNE TELLING. (n.d.). American Legal Publishing. https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/los_angeles/latest/lamc/0-0-0-130906

[10] 8.68.200 Specific unlawful noises. (n.d.). 8.68.200 Specific Unlawful Noises. https://library.qcode.us/lib/sacramento_ca/pub/city_code/item/title_8-chapter_8_68-article_iii-8_68_200

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