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Old laws in Rhode Island govern dueling, horses on highways

  • FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, file photo, wild rockweed seaweed grows on the coast of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Rhode Island House Majority Whip John Edwards is taking aim at archaic laws that are holdovers from the past. One bill would repeal a law restricting the amount of seaweed Barrington, R.I., residents can take from the public beach to use as fertilizer, and forbidding residents of other towns from taking seaweed. Edwards has introduced five bills so far and hopes to file up to 50 bills in 2018 to remove arbitrary statutes. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File) Robert F. Bukaty


Sunday, January 28, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Archaic laws that are a holdover from a time when people fought in duels a la Alexander Hamilton and rode horses on highways would be struck from the books in Rhode Island if a lawmaker has his way.

House Majority Whip John Edwards picked some of the silliest laws to start with. It’s been illegal to arrange to meet another person and engage in a fight. It’s also illegal to test the speed of a horse on public highways.

The Democratic Edwards has tried for years to create a General Assembly committee to review laws and recommend ones to strike.

That idea didn’t gain traction so he’s introducing bills to repeal old laws individually.

He has introduced five. He hopes to file up to 50 bills to remove arbitrary statutes.