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The federal system of government in the United States creates a level of complexity that makes it confusing to discern what the law is in any particular location. State criminal laws, county ordinances, city ordinances, and agency regulations (such as in state parks) may all apply. Enforcement can be uneven; in many cases laws against public lewdness are invoked to bring charges for simple nudity. Depending on the jurisdiction, penalties can range from a small fine to years in prison and permanent inclusion on a sexual offenders registry that includes rapists and perpetrators of sexual abuse. It is essential for a naturist who is contemplating being nude outside the confines of a nudist resort to know the locally applicable laws and practices and the potential penalties for contravening those laws and practices.

The best source for the naturist is the list of state laws maintained by the Naturist Action Committee at State Laws. This resource also includes information on the various Canadian provinces.

 

Written by: Milt