LATEST: Oklahoma lawmaker says people won’t be fined $500 for wearing hooded sweatshirts

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(CNN) — An Oklahoma lawmaker says people will not be fined $500 for wearing hooded sweatshirts in public, despite some interpretations of a proposed law concerning hoods and masks.

It is already against the law in Oklahoma to wear a “mask, hood or covering” that conceals the wearer’s identity during the commission of a crime or for the purpose of harassment or intimidation.

Republican state Sen. Don Barrington’s SB 13 would make it a crime to wear a “robe, mask or other disguise” in public that would “intentionally conceal the wearer’s identity.” Violators would face fines from $50 to $500.

Since the bill was introduced in December, some have interpreted it to include hooded sweatshirts, or “hoodies.” Media reports have also said that the bill includes “hoodies,” though it is not immediately clear from where this interpretation came.

But Barrington points out that the word “hoodie” is not mentioned in the legislation, except for the reference to hoods in the first section.

“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 in a statement.

The measure provides a number of exceptions, including religious garments, Halloween celebrations, parades, weather protection and other circumstances. Because hooded garments, or hoodies, are often worn as weather protection and not for the purposes of intentional concealment, it is unlikely they would be considered a disguise under the bill, he said in an email.

“The proposal is intended to protect law abiding citizens, not limit their rights,” he said. “This is simply an attempt to combat crime and make businesses and public spaces safer for everyone.”

No states or counties have active legislation banning hooded sweatshirts or “hoodies.” But schools, businesses and government buildings have been able to institute their own bans on hooded sweatshirts.

The bill will be considered when Oklahoma’s legislative session begins in February. It has to be heard and passed out of committee during the early weeks of February to move onto to the full Senate and then the Oklahoma House.

12 comments

  • wisill

    If they want to pass laws fine, but PASS LAWS THAT MAKE SENSE, not what type of clothes people wear! Will they ban Crocks or Nike’s next? Maybe red lipstick if wearing blue eyeshadow. The government no longer gives a krap about passing laws that make sense, they are only interested in “CONTROL”! Wake up real Americans before it’s too late.

  • Mandy

    First of all this sounds absolutely RIDICULOUS. You cannot tell people what they can and cannot wear.
    Also, does it really work? If someone is going to commit a crime, do they really stop and say to themselves “Oh wait! It’s illegal to wear a hoodie while committing a crime, let me go home and change?” Come on! Be realistic.
    Stop trying to impose ridiculous laws onto people. This is America, land of the free home of the brave. In case anybody failed to notice, American citizens are tired of being pushed by politicians and police. Be sensible.

  • min

    it would be much safer not to prohibit people from wearing a hoodie but to ban people from possessing a GUN. They always beat “around” the bush. tut-tut..

    • Reasonless

      MIN,
      The majority of the people committing crimes are already banned from having a gun.
      Its not the legal gun owners that are committing crime.
      Your statement has no logic.

    • Maria

      Oh my gosh! This is brilliant! All those people who break the law regarding not killing other people will TOTALLY follow the law about not owning a gun. Even the ones under 18 who possess guns that they flash every day in facebook. Im sure they just dont realize that its against the law for them to have the gun. I know that once you email them that info, aling with your home address as a drop off location, they will TOTALLY come turn it in in order to abide by the law. TOTALLY.

      • Maria

        Min, do you want a list of some names of the juveniles in Milwaukee who possess guns so you can let them know they’re breaking a law? Im serious. Do you? I can provide you with some names. Apparently the police cant do anything because they are bound by evidentiary requirements, but maybe you can.

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