Most of us are law abiding citizens. We don’t set out to get ourselves in trouble and lose our basic freedoms or pay a ton of money in fines, but what if you don’t know something is illegal?

There are many “silly” laws that for whatever reason found their way into some municipalities’ books.

If for some unfortunate circumstance you find yourself with an artificial limb or a wheelchair that you no longer have use for and you happen to be in Delaware, don’t try to sell it to recoup some pittance of reimbursement. It may end up costing you both an arm and a leg. However, if the seller can provide ‘appropriate authorization’ from a relevant business or unit of the government specifically related to conducting that sale it’s ok.

If you are a secondhand vendor, don’t even let someone walk in the door. Technically the law lists this under “Illegal transactions” and the buyer may be in more serious trouble than the seller.

The law, which falls under Title 24 section 2307b of the Delaware Code Online, is listed under “illegal transactions.” A violation could result in a misdemeanor or up to $10,000 in fines. Is this where the urban legend of the “Golden Arm” came from?

According to the Delaware Campus Library Blog, “This law was initially passed in 1907 and originally included another caveat forbidding pawnbrokers from accepting workmen’s tools. There is no word as to why they chose to drop the latter and keep this strange law about prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs as part of the legislation. One thing’s for sure, if you see a valuable item in a Delaware pawnshop, and you’re willing to give your right arm for it, don’t even bother. They can’t legally accept.”


One that tops the books in the great State of Nevada was the banning of x-Rays to fit shoes. To this day you’ll just have to walk into wherever you purchase your footwear and fit yourself for those new Jordans the natural way; try them on, see how they feel.

Of course, nobody would want to pump themselves full of harmful radiation these days knowing what we do. In the early part of the 20th century, it was all the rage to find the perfect fit in just this way. If they only knew then what we know now. Once they learned the law was put on the books and people invented those wooden and eventually metal contraptions most of us remember from our youth. No matter what they used to measure, the final test was always the ‘natural way.’ Mom would always pinch down on the top to see where your toes ended and feel across the instep to make sure they didn’t slide around when you walked.

RCW 70.98.170, Recodified as RCW 70A.388.190 pursuant to 2020 c 20 § 2025.

Prohibition — Fluoroscopic x-ray shoe fitting devices:

“The operation or maintenance of any x-ray, fluoroscopic, or other equipment or apparatus employing roentgen rays, in the fitting of shoes or other footwear or in the viewing of bones in the feet is prohibited. This prohibition does not apply to any licensed physician, surgeon, *podiatrist, or any person practicing a licensed healing art, or any technician working under the direct and immediate supervision of such persons.”



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