Wichita's Weirdest Laws
Laws are designed to ensure that people are safe and that things are in order. They aren’t intended to make us laugh, but occasionally we come across laws that are a little humorous. Over the years, several sites have compiled lists of some of the sillier laws out there, breaking them down by the city and state. Several of these sites list the entertaining laws of Wichita, and we decided to see it they were true. Check out these weird Wichita Laws!
A person can be sent to jail for making lewd comments on the phone.
Cited in section 5.82.010, which deals with interfering with telephone service, this is a real law in the city of Wichita. The ordinance reads:
“It is unlawful for any person to use any telephone instrument, telephone equipment, telephone facilities or telefacsimile communication device for any of the following purposes:
- Knowingly make or transmit any comment, request, suggestion or proposal which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy or indecent...”
This law and all others listed in section 5.82.010 are punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, one year of imprisonment or both.
It is unlawful to swim or bathe in city fountains.
This is also a real law. Section 5.66.060 lists swimming, bathing and throwing things away as prohibited activities in public pools or fountains. Refusal to desist in these activities could even result in a misdemeanor. Read the ordinance below.
“Swimming, bathing or in any manner immersing one's body or any part thereof, or washing, immersing or setting any clothing, wearing apparel or other material of any type, or in any manner throwing, placing or disposing of any matter in any public decorative fountain or pool, except a city employee in the execution of his duties, is prohibited. Any person who, after being advised of such prohibition by properly posted sign or a law enforcement officer or other authorized representative of the city, refuses to desist in such activity is guilty of a misdemeanor. The violation of this section shall constitute a trespass on public property. This section shall not pertain to pools or fountains under the regulation and control of the board of park commissioners.”
A permit is required in order to take dirt from the airport.
According to section 5.66.040, there are some pretty specific rules when it comes to moving dirt around. No particular punishment is noted, but that doesn’t mean you should commit this dirty crime. Here are the details.
“It is unlawful for any person to remove any dirt or earth from or place any dirt or earth on any of the streets, alleys or other public grounds, including the public parks of the city and the airport, without first having obtained a permit from the director of public works or from the board of park commissioners; provided, that this section shall not apply to regular employees of the city working under the direction of the director of public works, the board of park commissioners or other proper city authority; provided further, that this section shall not apply to persons who are under contract with the city for the paving or grading, or repaving or regrading, of any street or alley or the construction of any sewer or other public work for the city.”
It's against the law to use a swimming pool as a trash can.
It's a good thing that most pools have trash cans, because throwing trash into the pool is not permitted. Section 5.78.030 reads:
"It is unlawful for any person to throw trash or debris into any swimming pool, or to mar, deface or otherwise damage any swimming pool located in a public park in the City of Wichita."
This one seems pretty straight forward, but like all the others, there had to have been a reason for its enactment!
Before proceeding through the intersection of Douglas and Broadway, motorists are required to get out of their vehicle and fire three rounds into the air.
This may come as a surprise, but we were unable to find any documentation of this as an actual law for the City of Wichita.
Though it has made an appearance on many sites that mention the other, very true, weird Wichita laws, we have not seen any ordinances that require that this be done, and we've certainly never seen it done, either.
Persons caught carrying bean snappers will be fined upon conviction.
A quick search for the words "bean snapper" in the city ordinances yielded no result, so we're inclined to believe that this one may not be true.
Laws and Enforceablilty
"The existence of an ordinance and the active enforcement of that ordinance are two very different things," said Wichita's Deputy City Attorney, Jay C. Hinkel."The majority of the City’s ordinances were enacted many decades ago."
Hinkel noted that, because Wichita is approaching the 150th anniversary of its founding, changes in technology, court rulings, state and federal statutes and even political or social expectations may have affected the enforceability of ordinances passed in earlier times.
*Disclaimer: While the content in this article is legal in nature, 360wichita.com nor its employees are lawyers and even though we reached out to a city official for confirmation, the content of this article should not be taken as legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. If you are looking for legal advice we recommend checking out our attorney listings.