Is it Really Illegal to Remove This Item from Your Furniture in Massachusetts?
As we continue to examine some strange Massachusetts laws along with laws that are still on the books even though they are archaic, one law that I always wondered about was the "removing the tag(s)/label from the mattress" law.
My friends and I always wondered if the act of removing a tag was truly illegal just an urban legend. The question on our minds was the following: What harm is it doing to rip the tag off a mattress? Thinking we were getting away with something, we went ahead and did it to at least one of our mattresses. As you can see we were full of maturity.
What's the Deal Though? Is it Illegal to Rip the Tag/Label Off of a Mattress in Massachusetts and if so, why?
While it is technically illegal to remove a tag/label from a mattress (along with any upholstered furniture and stuffed toys) in Massachusetts, rest assured, you aren't going to get carted off to jail, especially if you own the item and you don't plan on selling it.
The Purpose of the Law is....
The reason why tag/label removal is a law in Massachusetts is to protect you the consumer which makes sense. As a consumer, I wouldn't want to pay for an item that was advertised as brand new if, in reality, it wasn't, particularly a bed. According to mentalfloss.com the purpose of the tag is to assure consumers that they’re buying a new, never-been-used product and to let them know exactly what’s inside it.
Below is the Official Law as Posted by the Massachusetts Legislature:
Section 272. No person shall manufacture or sell at wholesale or retail or otherwise, directly or indirectly, make, repair, renovate or offer or expose for sale, or have in his possession with intent to sell, any stuffed toy or article of new or secondhand upholstered furniture or bedding which can be used by human beings, if it is made of any new or secondhand material which is hidden or concealed by fabric or any other covering, unless such article is plainly labeled as provided in this law, and prescribed by the department.
So the law really pertains to the furniture/mattress etc. going out for sale but once it's in the consumer's possession and the item has been paid for, removing the tag is fine without having to lose sleep over it.
You can get all of the details on this law by going here.