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New York Laws You Didn’t Know Existed

Each state’s politicians are guilty of writing laws that make no sense to the layman. Sure, they sometimes have stated purposes that make sense — but the entire point of “laws” is that they’re intuitive, right? You know stealing is wrong because it feels wrong. You know killing is wrong because it feels wrong. Does it feel wrong to pick up an eagle feather? Probably not. But according to a 1940 law passed by the federal government, it’s completely illegal — and could mean stiff fines and incarceration if found guilty.

Believe it or not, it’s illegal to sell your pet’s hair, put on a puppet show from your home’s window, put an ice cream cone in your pocket (but only on Sunday’s), wear slippers after 10 p.m., or eating in the street in residential neighborhoods. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are a few more that NYC residents might have a big problem with. Do you live in your apartment with more than two people who aren’t related by blood? You’re breaking the law! You can expect this law to be enforced when you’re making trouble for a landlord or bringing the police to your door for completely different reasons.

You’re not allowed to wear a mask in NYC when in the company of one or more companions because of a 19th century attack on police. The law was used to arrest Occupy Wall Street protesters in 2011 when they wore Guy Fawkes masks (which were popularized in the movie V For Vendetta).

Flirting in the city is also illegal and you could receive a $25 fine for looking at a woman the wrong way. The law lacks specificity by failing to state that only “unwanted” flirting is unlawful, which means any guy who smiles or flirts with a woman in public is technically in the danger zone and could be nailed for breaking the law.