Oklahoma to consider ban on 'masks, hoods or coverings' in public

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An Oklahoma state senator has introduced a bill that would ban people from hiding their identity in public (Shutterstock)

The state of Oklahoma may soon ban wearing hoodies.

It's already illegal in Oklahoma to wear a "mask, hood or covering" while committing a crime. Now, Republican state Senator Don Barrington has introduced a bill that would ban people from hiding their identity in public.

The bill bans any person from intentionally concealing "his or her identity in a public place by means of a robe, mask, or other disguise." It goes on to state that the law is "immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety."

Violators would face a $500 fine.

Many have interpreted the wording of the bill to include hooded sweatshirts, or "hoodies." Attorney James Siderias told WFTV such a law could violate people's rights.

"If somebody is out running, especially in this kind of weather, where it's cold, drizzly, you might be inclined to wear your hoodie," Siderias said. "I think this is a violation of an individual's right to chose what they want to wear as long as it doesn't violate the realm of public decency and moral values."

However, Barrington tells CNN the bill isn't targeting people who wear hooded sweatshirts in public. He points out the word "hoodie" is not mentioned in the legislation, except for the one reference to hoods.

"The bill is not designed to ban hoodies, but to prevent the wearing of masks or disguises in the commission of a crime," Barrington said. "The proposal is intended to protect law abiding citizens, not limit their rights."

The bill would also not apply to people dressing up for Halloween or parades. It also wouldn't apply to people who are required to cover their faces for religious beliefs or safety and medical purposes.

Currently, there are no laws that specifically ban "hoodies." However, many schools and businesses do have their own bans on hooded sweatshirts.

Click here to read the bill.
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