There are a wide range of laws in the United States, varying within in each level of government. Those in possession of an exotic animal must by abide by all levels of law - federal, state, and city. Unfortunately, in many states, there is little regulation when it comes to exotics. This is due largely in part to enforcement issues, but several states have stricter laws than others. Some even lack state laws regarding exotic animals entirely. This website - click here - is helpful in looking into each state's laws individually.
It is always interesting, and sometimes disconcerting, to look into the laws governing exotic animal care and ownership. Often, the public is unaware of the laws, or lack thereof, surrounding exotics in their state. Unfortunately, eyes are opened to these concerns fastest after a tragedy occurs. Should you have concerns about the laws in your state, don't hesitate to contact state officials!