Sorry, no free ice cream in Tennessee; it’s illegal

It seems that giving away ice cream has been illegal in Tennessee since 1957, when state legislators were trying to combat alleged unfair trade practices by the dairy industry. Upon its being alerted to the existence of this law, the state Senate and House unanimously passed a bill to repeal the law, sending it to the governor for signature.

Aha, but it's not as simple as you think.

The bill as written would have eliminated an entire section of state law covering unfair trade practices and frozen desserts.

The bill was withdrawn after some lawmakers got calls from dairy company officials who feared the bill was too broad.

It is unclear whether an amended bill will pass in time for Baskin-Robbins' free cone day, planned for April 28.

(Links courtesy of Fark. It's not news. It's Fark.)

Comments (6)
  1. Wallym says:

    Gee, why am I not surprised by this…….

  2. ZirakZigil says:

    Scariest phrase in any language: <i>there oughta be a law…</i>

  3. Roger says:

    I live in Tennessee, and the local ice cream company gives away free samples in a park downtown several times a year. Since the park is across the street from my office, I usually stop by and partake. Does this mean I’m a criminal?

  4. Eric Lippert says:

    OK, obviously making it illegal to give away ice cream is silly. But this struck me as odd:

    "We give ice cream to the legislature, for special events…"

    Is it legal for a business to give free stuff to the governing body that regulates it?

  5. asdf says:

    Maybe they should spend less time coming up with ice-cream puns and other one-liners for press and more time learning how to amend laws correctly.

  6. Mat says:

    Maybe they thought it would raise the average tooth-per-capita average from 3 to 4?

    I would like to see congresses appoint an "unlegislate" committee for exactly this kind of review. It always goes underexamined (see US tax code) and would go a long way towards efficiency.

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