$500 Fine Proposed for Wearing A Hoodie in Oklahoma

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A state legislator in Oklahoma has proposed an amendment that would impose a $500 fine on people who cover their faces with clothing — including hooded sweatshirts.

Oklahoma resident Tracy Wehagen reacted to a proposed amendment that would ban the concealment of one's identity in public. (Credit: KFOR)

Oklahoma resident Tracy Wehagen reacted to a proposed amendment that would ban the concealment of one's identity in public. (Credit: KFOR)

An existing statute already makes it illegal to wear such clothing while committing a crime, KFOR-TV reported.

An amendment to that law, authored byRepublican state Sen. Don Barrington, would ban the concealment of a person's identity in public.

"Oklahoma businesses want state leaders to be responsive to their safety concerns, and this is one way we can provide protection," Barrington said in a statement.

Reactions to the proposal have been mixed.

"I think it 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," said attorney James Siderias, "and I think that this could be very problematic."

Siderias said he believes the legislature is simply trying to make the state "a little bit safer, and in doing so, I think they just overreached a little bit."

Oklahoma resident Tracy Wehagen, who was wearing hooded jacket in an interview, said people wearing hoodies "might have personal issues for keeping them on."

"They might have a bad hair day or maybe they have cancer or [are] their losing their hair," she said. "You just don't know why."

A man who identified himself only as "A.T." said he was skeptical about Barrington's proposal.

"I don't think that solution will work," he said. "I just think that will cause a little more tension within the community. It probably will be a reason for cops to mess with more people wearing hoodies."