I have read the text of the proposed update to the law regarding the wearing of items that conceal one’s identity during the commission of a crime. And, I don’t know, but it still seems like, with out specific language spelling it out, it could be open to misinterpretation, as to the wearing of hooded sweatshirts.
Taking ones hat, hoodie, knit cap, etc. off indoors (especially in places of business) makes sense, and most reasonable people would do so without being asked. But those with ill intent aren’t “reasonable” people. If they’re there to rob the store, they’re going to do it, law or not.
So, here is the text of the proposed law:
STATE OF OKLAHOMA 1st Session of the 55th Legislature (2015) SENATE BILL 13 By: Barrington AS INTRODUCED An Act relating to crime and punishments; amending 21 O.S. 2011, Section 1301, which relates to masks, hoods and disguises; modifying certain restrictions; and declaring an emergency. BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA: SECTION 1. AMENDATORY 21 O.S. 2011, Section 1301, is amended to read as follows: Section 1301. It shall be unlawful for any person in this state
to: A. To wear a mask, hood or covering, which conceals the identity of the wearer during the commission of a crime or for the purpose of coercion, intimidation or harassment; or B. To intentionally conceal his or her identity in a public place by means of a robe, mask, or other disguise. providedProvided, the provisions of Section 1301 et seq. of this title shall not apply to the pranks of children on Halloween, to those going to, or from, or participating in masquerade parties, to those participating in any public parade or exhibition of an
educational, religious or historical character, to those wearing coverings required by their religious beliefs, for safety or medical purposes, or incidental to protection from the weather, to those participating in any meeting of any organization within any building or enclosure wholly within and under the control of said organization, and to those participating in the parades or exhibitions of minstrel troupes, circuses, sporting groups, mascots or other amusements or dramatic shows. Any person, or persons, violating the provisions of this section, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not exceeding one (1) year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
SECTION 2. It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval. 55-1-227 BH 12/5/2014 4:05:08 PM
Strikeouts were in the original text, and passages that are in bold type were underlined in the original text. Nothing specifically regarding hoodies, per se, but check out Section 2 (emphasis mine). How many “emergencies” would be declared under Section 2? And at whose direction? Any law enforcement officer? The head of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol? The National Guard? Gov. Fallin? If, say, 50 people come to the Capitol wearing hoodies, would THAT be considered an emergency, even if it’s a peaceful protest? We still have the right to gather to demand a redress of our grievances, right?
I’m not a conspiracy nut or anything like that (far from it), but given the events of last summer with the Michael Brown/Ferguson, MO/ “hands up, don’t shoot” thing, could this particular section be misinterpreted by overzealous law enforcement officials?
I honestly don’t know, but it would be something to ask my state representative about, right?
What do you think?
I’m Stef and this is where it’s @ !~
UPDATE: 3 FEB 2015
OK legislature declines to hear the controversial hoodie bill; rather, they are going to concentrate on more important issues.
“After evaluating the legislation assigned to the Judiciary Committee this session, I have decided that Senate Bill 13 will not be heard so we may focus on other legislation before us,” said Senate Judiciary Chair Anthony Sykes. (source: KFOR.com)