Food Stamps and 9 Other Surprising Things You Won’t Believe Are More Regulated Than Guns

Gun control is once again on everybody’s minds after another high school shooting, this time in Parkland, Florida. Despite the carnage that can result from guns getting into the wrong hands, there are some items that receive more regulation than guns. Here are 10 surprising things that are more regulated than guns in America.

1. Deliveries

Pizza delivery
That prank could cost you. | Chris J Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images

Are you in the mood to pull a prank on someone? In some states, you could face a penalty for trying to be funny or get revenge. In Louisiana, residents can face a $500 fine, serve jail time for up to six months, or both for having goods or services delivered to someone’s home without his or her knowledge. So don’t copy the common prank of ordering 100 pizzas and having them delivered to someone. But when it comes to regulating guns, the state takes a hands-off approach. It was one of several states to earn an “F” grade from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence for its firearms laws. 

2. Haircuts

Hairdresser cutting the hair of a woman
It’s harder to cut hair than carry a gun. | MilanMarkovic/iStock/Getty Images

In some states it’s easier to carry a gun than it is to be approved to cut hair. In Arizona, for example, a license is required to cut hair but not to carry a concealed weapon. It is considered a crime to cut hair without a license. When one barber in training, Juan Carlos Montesdeoca, decided to give free haircuts to the homeless, the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology heard about what he was doing and launched an investigation.

3. Children’s books

Children's books
Children’s books before 1985 are heavily regulated. | Maral Deghati/AFP/Getty Images

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was passed in August 2008 in an attempt to protect children from lead contamination in toys. This was in response to a situation in 2007 where high levels of lead where found in toys from China. This broad act covered all children’s products, including books.

The act made it illegal to sell children’s books published before 1985 unless the books passed a test for lead levels. (Many books before 1985 were published with ink containing lead.) The lead content had to contain less than 600 parts per million. The guideline was reduced to 90 parts per million in 2011. That same year, the law was amended so that publishers are no longer required to conduct testing on ordinary books and paper-based printed materials.

In addition, some children’s books are so troubling to some that they have been challenged or banned. But New York Times columnist Perri Klass argues that children should read some of these books.

4. Milk

Pouring milk in the glass
Unpasteurized milk is heavily regulated. | naturalbox/iStock/Getty Images

Milk is also another item that is regulated more than guns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, raw milk could contain bacteria, viruses, and parasites that could lead to serious illness. Consequently, it is not legal for unpasteurized milk to be sold across state lines. Right now, 20 states do not allow the sale of raw milk for human consumption. However, 17 states allow the sale of raw milk only on the farm from which it was produced, and 13 states allow the sale of raw milk in retail stores. 

5. Batteries

close up of batteries
Getting rid of batteries requires a special process. | iStock/Getty Images

Depending on where you live, you might have to follow a specific set of guidelines for getting rid of your batteries. Some states have pretty strict laws when it comes to battery recycling. In West Virginia, it is against the law to dispose of lead acid batteries in a solid waste landfill. And in Florida, manufacturers must have a battery management program in place to make sure different types of batteries are properly disposed of.  

6. Cold medicine

Cold medicine
In some states you need to sign a log book to buy cold medicine. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

If you’re sneezing, have a stuffy nose, and feel miserable, you’ll have to jump through a few hoops before you can obtain certain cold medications. If you want to purchase a certain type of Sudafed, for example, you’ll be required to provide verification of your identity. Some versions of Sudafed contain pseudoephedrine, which can be used to make methamphetamine. In addition to providing your ID, you’ll be asked to sign a log book. This way, if you buy too much of the drug, you can be tracked and prevented from purchasing more. There’s no similar national registry of gun purchases. 

7. Birth control

three types of birth control
Many states have been making it harder and harder to get birth control. | iStock/Getty Images

Are you trying to prevent a pregnancy or deal with other women’s health issues? That might become just a little bit harder due to the latest regulations. President Donald Trump recently issued a rule that gives employers permission to remove birth control coverage from their health plans. Consequently, it will become a lot more expensive for some women to purchase birth control. Washington state sued Trump over the new rules.

8. Solar panels

solar panels
Solar panels might have to go through the city government. | iStock/Getty Images

There are several regulations involved in the process of installing solar panels. In most areas, you’ll be required to first reach out to your utility company to make it aware of your project. In addition, there might be a wait list for new solar installations. You’ll also need to become familiar with your city’s  permit process. The process could take a few days to a month, according to Solar Power Authority. Harvard Business Review columnist Joshua M. Pearce estimates regulations are costing the market $70 billion.

9. Food stamps

EBT card
Food stamps require applicants to follow specific guidelines. | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

In order to become eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as food stamps), you have to meet strict household income guidelines. Applicants are required to pass both a net and gross income test. A household of four people, for example, must not make more than $2,050 a month in net income and $2,665 in monthly gross income.  

10. Foreign dairy products

Set of different cheese
Dairy products are apparently more dangerous than firearms. | rusak/iStock/Getty Images

Transporting dairy products from another country requires a bit of hoop jumping. Milk, cream, ice cream, butter, and several cheeses must meet quota restrictions set by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Agriculture. Furthermore, importing milk and cream requires a permit from the Food and Drug Administration.  In addition, commercial imports of food and beverages require the filing of prior notice with the FDA.

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