Lawmakers to adjust Tennessee bill banning masks, hoods ‘with intent to conceal the person’s identity’

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL)- A proposed bill in Tennessee would make it a misdemeanor criminal offense to wear a mask or hood with an intent to conceal your identity.

While the bill in its current form was withdrawn Wednesday, Representative Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport) told News Channel 11 he’ll file a clarified version by February 5th.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol) and Representative Hulsey, would make it a Class A misdemeanor offense, “of wearing a mask, hood, or device by which a portion of the person’s face is so hidden, concealed, or covered so as to intentionally conceal the identity of the person while on a public way, public property, or private property without the permission of the property owner or the occupier of the property to do so.”

The original bill did outline situations in which the above bill would NOT apply.

  • (1) Wear a traditional holiday costume on the occasion of the holiday;
  • (2) Lawfully engage in a trade, profession, occupation, or sporting activity where a mask, hood, or device is worn for the purpose of ensuring the physical safety of the wearer or others, or because of the nature of the trade, profession, occupation, or sporting activity;
  • (3) Wear a mask, hood, or device while engaged in a theatrical production, parade, or masquerade ball; or
  • (4) Wear a gas mask prescribed in emergency management drills or emergencies.

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