Nanny State Update: LED Light Bans and Jail Time for Collecting Rainwater

While the House of Representatives passed legislation eliminating red tape and rolling back regulations on businesses this week, Nanny State regulators at all levels of government continued to impose new bans on everything from LED lights to feeding turkeys.  At the federal level, 2,266 pages were added to the federal register along with 86 new rules setting quotas for Atlantic Bluefin tuna and determining what assets state savings associations can invest in.

Oregon Man Faces Jail Time for Collecting Rainwater: A rural Oregon man was sentenced to 30 days in jail and $1,500 in fines after he was found guilty of operating three reservoirs on his private land, reservoirs that collected rainwater and snow runoff.  In other words, digging holes that happen to trap rainwater is a misdemeanor in the state of Oregon.

Federal Consumer Safety Regulators Ban Buckeyballs: Federal consumer safety regulators are suing the maker of the popular Buckeyballs magnetic desk toy in order to prevent them from continuing to manufacture their hallmark product.  Under the guise of protecting children from a product marketed exclusively to adult users, the CPSC has initiated only their second lawsuit in more than a decade to take this popular product out of production.  Over 2 million sets of magnets have been sold since 2009 and the agency can identify less than two dozen cases of harmful ingestion during that period.  Yet they are proceeding nonetheless, banning enjoyment for millions of users to protect against eight poor parenting decisions a year.

Outdoor LED Lights Banned in Hopkinton: In the small town of Hopkinton, Rhode Island, LED lights will no longer be displayed outdoors after a new council ordinance banned them.  In introducing the ban, Councilor Capalbo asserted that LED signs pose a direct threat to the town’s environment and citizens’ health, saying, “The intent is to prevent the use of self-illuminated, diode driven signage, both for health and safety.” It’s unclear if the council believes the open flame on torches would be a healthier and safer option for citizens hoping to see while they are outside at night.

Turkey Feeding Banned in Hainesport: The town council of Hainesport, New Jersey is cracking down the public nuisance posed by wild turkeys by prohibiting feeding them, intentionally or otherwise.  Offending bird watchers will be fined $2,000 for every offense as the town attempts to control its turkey population, which has grown unchecked since trapping was also banned. The town council failed to specify when, exactly, it would stop chasing its tail on fowl regulation.

Salem Bans Tobacco Products in Pharmacies: As tourists flock to Salem, Massachusetts before the annual Halloween celebration tied to the infamous Salem witch trials, they will find the local drug store lacking all its usual tobacco products.  This week, the Salem town council banned all tobacco products from its pharmacies. This seems to be the obvious next step after states fail to tax products they disdain out of existence…they simple ban them.  

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