Tennessee Lawmakers Pull Bill Banning Use Of Hoods On Hoodies

Holly Matkin

State Rep. Bud Hulsey said he wants to help law enforcement to curb potential violent acts at rallies and protests.

Memphis, TN – Tennessee state lawmakers were considering a bill that would have made it illegal for citizens to wear hoods in public, but the bill’s sponsor has pulled the legislation for revisions due to backlash from the community.

The intention behind the initial bill was to prohibit people from concealing their identities, and would have barred the use of any items that would cover any portion of their faces, WTVF reported.

The law would have applied to all public spaces, and would have also made it illegal to wear masks, hoods, or other facial-concealment items on private property without the property owner’s permission.

Masks or similar items used for holiday celebrations, sports activities, masquerade balls, parades, theatrical productions, emergency situations, and certain occupations would have still been permitted under the legislation.

Violators of the misdemeanor offense would have faced up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine, WTVF reported.

State Representative Bud Hulsey, who sponsored the bill, said the proposed law change was aimed at helping law enforcement officers curb potential violent acts at demonstrations and rallies where participants might attempt to conceal their identities in order to get away with committing violent acts.

University of Memphis student Jalan Veasley said he believes the bill unjustly targeted racial minorities.

"As an African-American, I feel like some laws are traditionally targeted towards minorities, and I feel like this is probably one of those laws," Veasley told WREG.

University of Memphis Constitutional Law Professor Steve Mulroy said that the legislation could potentially violate citizens’ Constitutional rights.

"We don't have an affirmative obligation to always show our face when we're in public,” Mulroy told WREG.

“It would be one thing if it was narrowly targeted on highly sensitive, secure areas like governmental buildings or large public events where there were heightened security concerns,” he added, “but as a general blanket matter, you can't, consistent with our privacy rights, say you're not allowed to cover your face up in public."

Hulsey said he pulled the bill in order to make modifications that will make the legislation “much more specific,” WTVF reported.

The new version should be completed by Feb. 5, Hulsey said.

"When people read the bill, the confusion has been huge. [Like] I'm trying to tell people how they can dress. That's not the intent of the bill at all," Hulsey told WTVF. “Legal thought that it should be a broader brush. That’s where the verbiage came from for hoodies and everything. The intent is still there. To mask your identity to get away with committing a crime.”

Comments (31)
No. 1-9
LEO0301
LEO0301

I think this type of dress restriction would be appropriate for Antifa demonstrations where violence is a common occurrence. In general, it doesn't make much sense.

Amitzah Mitzvah
Amitzah Mitzvah

While I understand the law
but, I wear hoodies to protect myself from cold and heat. I have zero problems in removing my hat for the POLICE to see my face for identification. I wouldn't think of stop wearing my hoodie.

To the jerk that said remove a stump ... Try gunt and see what happens to you. Personally I know for a fact you don't have what it takes nor does anybody else. Want to try. Come get some of. what awaits you ... My address is 471 G Place NW, Washington DC.

widbill45acp
widbill45acp

You can't do this, they should just ban HOOD'LUMS in public!!!

Stanracer
Stanracer

Targeting black people???? Come on, get serious.

NickyJ
NickyJ

What a wanker.

Marxest
Marxest

Tennessee is the birthplace of the Klu Klux Klan. Tennessee loves it's hoods. White hoods that go with white robes. This is simply more white right wing garbage.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Me thinks someone made a race issue when none actually exists... Some people have a habit of interjecting their racial outrage into everything.....

But this is a stupid bill, as I wear hoodies when it's cold outside and when I exercise outside in the winter months.

HonorYourHeroes
HonorYourHeroes

I can see where he's coming from, but this bill ain't gonna stand.

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

“As an African-American, I feel like some laws are traditionally targeted towards minorities, and I feel like this is probably one of those laws," Veasley told WREG.

University of Memphis Constitutional Law Professor Steve Mulroy said that the legislation could potentially violate citizens’ Constitutional rights.

"We don't have an affirmative obligation to always show our face when we're in public,” Mulroy told WREG.

There are some major gaps in this professors education that I would like to help him with.

First, there is no such thing as an african American. If you were born in this country within the last 150 years, you are an American - period.

Secondly, By calling oneself an african American, does nothing but add to racial divide and tension in this country.

Lastly, according to ya’ll anyway, what’s the big deal? Without the hood you all look alike to us anyway right?

Professor, your comments are in of themselves silly and racially inflammatory. For a professed smart man, your thinking is very narrow.


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