June 25, 2024

Masking in public could be made illegal if Bill 237 passes

A Republican bill being put to the North Carolina House could make it illegal for people to wear face coverings in public for health reasons. The Senate has already passed the bill, voting 30-15 along party lines.

House Bill 237 is targeted at people wearing masks to conceal their identity and was brought forward as a result of the recent campus protests against Israel’s war with Hamas.

The Bill also contains a provision that would make it illegal to wear a face covering for health reasons of any kind. The provision is intended to repeal an exemption passed in 2020 that allowed for masking for public-health reasons.

In the 1930s, laws were passed in the state prohibiting public masking in order to crack down on the activities of the Ku Klux Klan and other “secret societies.” A small range of exceptions, including holiday costumes and gas masks, were allowed.

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