Tags: oklahoma | hoodie | ban | anti-kkk | law

Oklahoma 'Hoodie Ban' Would Be Added to Old Anti-KKK Law

By    |   Tuesday, 06 Jan 2015 08:18 AM

An Oklahoma state senator has come under fire for proposing bill that some say could effectively ban hooded sweatshirts, commonly referred to as "hoodies."

Local news station KFOR first reported that Republican state Sen. Don Barrington's Senate Bill 13 would ban hoodies and subject violators to a $500 fine.

Barrington, however, defended the bill, pointing out that the words hoodie, sweatshirt, nor hood appear in the bill's language. In fact, SB 13 is an amendment that adds only a few lines of text to a nearly 100-year-old statue.

The Associated Press explained that the original law dates back to the 1920's and was aimed at combating crimes committed by the Ku Klux Klan.

"It shall be unlawful for any person in this state 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," reads the original text.

SB 13 maintains the old text, and adds a new, additional clause that reads, "It shall be unlawful for any person in this state to intentionally conceal his or her identity in a public place by means of a robe, mask, or other disguise."

Critics have said that the new text infringes on people's First Amendment right to free speech and expression, and leaves too much room for police to interpret who is or is not 'intentionally concealing his or her identity in a public place.'

"I think this is a violation of an individual’s right to choose what they want to wear as long as it doesn’t violate the realm of public decency and moral values, and I think this could be very problematic," local attorney James Siderias told KFOR.

Barrington, a retired firefighter, said that he was inspired to expand the law in the wake of mask-wearing protestors who turned to violence and looting in Ferguson, Missouri this past fall in the wake of the police killing of Michael Brown.

"I like to think we take the security of our people seriously, especially at the Capitol and state buildings," Barrington said. "It certainly had nothing to do with hoodies."

Still, others say concealing one's identity during lawful, peaceful protest is a constitutional right.

The law already provides exceptions for situations like Halloween and mascots at sporting events.

The Oklahoma legislative session begins February 2, at which time the bill will be under consideration.



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An Oklahoma state senator has come under fire for proposing bill that some say could effectively ban hooded sweatshirts, commonly referred to as "hoodies."
oklahoma, hoodie, ban, anti-kkk, law
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2015-18-06
Tuesday, 06 Jan 2015 08:18 AM
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