No unmarried woman can parachute on Sundays is just one of Florida's most bizarre laws
5:09 PM, Feb 22, 2011
A look around the Florida Code of Laws may not sound like your idea of a good time, but if you can get through the usual, basic stuff, you might find some laws that will leave you scratching your head.
Most every Sunday at Skydive Jacksonville, a law is broken, but unless you're scared of heights or jumping out of planes, there's no reason to worry about visiting them at the Herlong Airport.
The law being broken is an old one that says no unmarried woman can parachute on Sundays.
"When you guys called that's the first we heard of that," said Tommy Gate, who works at Skydive Jacksonville.
He said he's never heard of it being enforced, and it certainly hasn't stopped anyone from coming out on one of their busiest days of the week.
"We have quite a few women come on Sunday, some are married and some are unmarried."
If the single lady skydiving law seems strange, then the elephant law will really have you wondering.
In Florida, if an elephant is left at a parking meter, the owner is not exempt from the fees, and will be ticketed at an expired meter.
"I've been here almost 30 years and I've never heard of that," said Dan Maloney, deputy director of the Jacksonville Zoo. "But I have to say, if the sheriff's office comes across one of my elephants at a parking meter, they have my permission to give it a ticket."
Sticking with the animal theme, there is actually a law on the books that said sex with a porcupine is illegal.
Maloney said they don't have any porcupines at the zoo, and he's not an expert, but can understand that law.
For many, these laws don't make any sense, but Florida Coastal School of law professor James Woodruff said they were enacted in a time when they may have been more accepted.
"A lot of these come out of the 1800s during the religious revivals and the push to bring morals to America," Woodruff said.
They haven't been taken off the books because of the literal act of Congress it would take, he said.
"Some prosecutors know about these laws but won't enforce them because either a jury will nullify them with a not-guilty verdict, or it's just in bad taste in today's climate," Woodruff said.
However, he said some strange laws will be used as back-ups by prosecutors or defense lawyers when their cases otherwise seem thin.
"Oh yes, they're enforced from time to time," he said, "They'll usually come up when a lawyer is looking for some sort of creative defense or looking for another cause of action they can bring up."
There's no record of a ticket ever being written for the laws mentioned above, and for that reason Gate at the Dropzone says it's nothing to worry about.
"They'd make a fortune if they actually enforced it," he said of the single woman parachuting law. "It wouldn't fly."