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North Carolina proposes mask ban

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Republican Party lawmakers proposed legislation banning masks as a safety measure to ensure perpetrators of criminal activity can be identified.
North Carolina mask ban

Wearing face masks in public, including for health reasons, could be banned in the U.S. state of North Carolina.

Republican Party lawmakers proposed legislation banning masks as a safety measure to ensure perpetrators of criminal activity can be identified.

It’s passed the state’s Senate (upper house) but will need final sign-off by the lower house and the Governor before the change becomes law.

North Carolina’s proposed mask ban

The legislation will repeal pandemic-era laws around mask-wearing to support public safety in North Carolina.

The draft law includes penalties for people caught wearing a mask while committing a crime. This will also apply to those who block traffic during protests.

Democrat Senators attempted to add an exemption for the use of face masks for health reasons, but were struck down.

Controversy

The non-profit American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina raised concerns about the legislation’s impact on public safety and the right to protest, calling the draft laws unnecessary.

It claimed the potential targeting of protesters under the draft law could amplify “existing concerns about civil liberties and freedom of expression”.

The draft law will be subject to additional scrutiny in the lower house but will likely pass with the approval of the Republican majority. It‘s not yet clear if Democrat Governor Roy Cooper will sign it into law.

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