Being Annoying Is Now Legal in Grand Rapids

City dumps old law against jerks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2014 12:31 AM CST
Want to be a jerk? It's legal in Grand Rapids.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A new vacation spot for America's most irritating people? After a 38-year ban, it's now OK to be annoying in Grand Rapids, Mich. On the advice of the city attorney, the city has decided to ax an old statute that says "no person shall willfully annoy another person," MLive reports. What's annoying and what isn't is so subjective that the law can be interpreted far too widely, the city attorney explains. "It's unconstitutional in terms of being vague," she says. "It’s simply unenforceable."

The attorney has been looking for other old laws to scratch or revise, including a section of code that appears to allow motorists to just keep driving when a police officer tries to pull them over. "We have been a city since 1850 and have a two-volume code book that is over 5,000 pages," she tells NBC. "It's like sediment—they keep piling up in layers, and every 40 years we have to weed it out." One law that she doesn't plan to change, despite protests from gun advocates, is a 1960s-era law banning the carrying of guns in the city. (Read more annoying stories.)

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