Bremerton, shuck all the peanuts you want (it’s not actually illegal)


“Everything that anyone ever posted to the Internet is true.”

Said no one, ever.

Yes, we all know inaccuracies litter the information superhighway. But one of the World Wide Web’s most inaccurate rumors about Bremerton is that it is against the law to shuck peanuts on city streets. We see it pop up on social media sites every few weeks, and it is proclaimed to be accurate on several websites pertaining to “dumb laws.”

Bottom line: There is no truth to it whatsoever.

After seeing it so many times, I decided to investigate the city’s code in an effort to determine its veracity.

Nothing there I could find.

I checked with Mark Koontz, Bremerton’s assistant city attorney, who agreed that there is just no such thing on the books.

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“There’s no truth to that,” he said.

If you shuck your peanuts onto the city street, that could be considered littering, Koontz added.

But that would apply to anywhere with a littering code. And the websites are quite specific: you shall not shuck peanuts on the streets of our fine city.

Perhaps it had been a law in the past, only to be repealed?

I consulted Bill Broughton, prominent area lawyer and one time the city’s attorney in the 1980s. He’d never heard of such a thing.

“That’s a new one on me,” he said. “We did set a goal of repealing antiquated laws when I was there but I do not remember this one.”

I turned to Russell Warren, one of Bremerton’s sharpest minds when it comes to area history. He hadn’t heard of it either.

I even emailed some of the purveyors of websites which purport the law to be the truth.

I heard back from one — Andy Powell at — who said he was looking into the source. Other web sites never responded.

So far, I have been unable to find a single source of the perceived law. My hope is to debunk it officially. So I humbly ask for your help, dear readers, on this journey.

I would love to hear from any of you who knows where it may have come from. Drop a line below, or send me an email at

One of the most intriguing parts of the mystery is the idea peanuts would be singled out as unlawful to shuck. Perhaps an odd vendetta against the bean by an anti-peanut former mayor?

Regardless, I stand firm in the belief the law is hogwash.

7 thoughts on “Bremerton, shuck all the peanuts you want (it’s not actually illegal)

  1. There’s a good project for a grad student. Pump all the “dump laws” sites wording into some software and see if you can figure out what the original source is. It probably all goes back to a single forwarded email or FAQ.

  2. @fletc3her:
    I think the “dump laws” would be very clear. Shucking peanuts on the street may not be a law, but I can almost, with 100% certainty, say that “dumping” (garbage or bodily refuse) would be considered unlawful anywhere in the USA. Maybe even *Canada: *(source needed)
    I am kidding about Canada. All of you fine people in the Great White North calm down.
    Yes, yes. I know that you meant “dumb laws”

  3. There used to be a tradition at PSNS shipyard that the qualifying Docking Officer had to bring peanuts in the shell for the docking crew, 50 to 100 people depending on the size of the vessel, to be eaten during the docking evolution. It made quite a mess and several of the senior supervisors banded together to have the tradition abolished in the mid-1990s. They made it “illegal” for the docking crew to eat peanuts in the shell during docking operations at the shipyard. Could that be the source of this rumor?

  4. I wonder if it’s an old law that got repealed. The only thing that I could think of is that maybe in the early days of Bremerton, when there were more horses on the streets, the discarded shells were too much of a temptation for the ponies to nibble on. Might have caused backup/delays? Maybe intestinal problems creating more of a mess? Might have got repealed when automobiles took over.

  5. What If I was to get busted shuckin peanuts by a Redflex Camera? Could Bremerton use that video to prove my guilt? What if the peanuts were being shucked out the window and I was not the driver or the passenger? Would I still be responsible for the infraction? What if I contested the infraction in Judge Docter’s court and he used a unsworn, unqualified, un appointed robe wearing “judge” to determine my guilt? Would the judge be considered DE Facto? Would Mark Koontz claim it was all done “under the color of law” ??? What if the ticket was signed and dated and served from Arizona when the RCW clearly states the ticket is to be served by the officer in person at the time of the infraction.? ??? What if I thought this wrong and the laws clearly backed up my stance? Could I appeal my ticket before an unbiased judge or would she give Koontz the benefit of the doubt and claim it was all on the up and up because it was done “under the color of a de facto law” ????

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