OKLAHOMA CITY – Wearing a hoodie in a public space in Oklahoma may soon be against the law, and the person behind the proposal said they are motivated by a desire to keep people safe.
FOX 13 News sister station KFOR in Oklahoma City reports that the state has had a law on their books since the ‘20s that bans the use of hoods during crimes, but a state senator reportedly wishes to expand the law. The law was reportedly initially passed in response to activity by the KKK.
Senator Dan Barrington spoke to KFOR about the motivation for amending the current law to make it illegal to hide your identity in public.
“The intent of Senate Bill 13 is to make businesses and public places safer by ensuring that people cannot conceal their identities for the purpose of crime or harassment….Similar language has been in Oklahoma statutes for decades and numerous other states have similar laws in place. Oklahoma businesses want state leaders to be responsive to their safety concerns, and this is one way we can provide protection.”
The fine for violating the proposed amendment to 21 OS 1301 would be a $500 fine.
Many in Oklahoma spoke out against the bill, saying it restricts freedom.
“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,” attorney James Siderias told KFOR.
The attorney added that he thought the legislature is just tyring to make the state “a little bit safer,” but he said in doing so they have over-reached a bit.