In an effort to deter crime, an Oklahoma Republican lawmaker has drafted a measure to ban hoodies in public, following actions by several other states around the country, Oklahoma’s Channel 6 reports.
Republican state Sen. Don Barrington has written a bill that would ban masks, hoodies and other face coverings that hide one’s identity in a public space, according to the news station. The measure includes exceptions for holidays, special events like Halloween, weather conditions and religious beliefs. Violators could be subject to a misdemeanor fine of $50 to $500, and/or one year in jail, the television news station reports. Similar laws are already in place in at least 10 other states, including Washington, D.C., where the law applies only to people 16 years of age or older, Channel 6 reports.
Hoods worn during the commission of a crime have been against state law since the 1920s, with the original intent of curbing violence perpetrated by the Ku Klux Klan, Oklahoma’s Channel 4 reports.
“The intent of Senate Bill 13 is to make businesses and public places safer by ensuring that people cannot conceal their identities for the purpose of crime or harassment,” Barrington said, according to Channel 4. “Similar language has been in Oklahoma statutes for decades, and numerous other states have similar laws in place. Oklahoma businesses want state leaders to be responsive to their safety concerns, and this is one way we can provide protection.”