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Social Media Claims That Wearing Mask Negates CCW Permits Are False

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Published on: July 18, 2020

Social media can be a valuable tool;  but, it can also spread vast amounts of misinformation.  One such piece of misinformation that has spread like wildfire through Instagram and Facebook is wearing a mask in public during the coronavirus plandemic means you cannot carry your concealed firearm even with a permit.  According to FactCheck.org, this claim is false.

Facebook pages and Instagram users are sharing a meme that falsely claims: “Know what else wearing a mask does??? Anyone?? REMOVES YOUR CONCEAL CARRY ability.  That’s right!! Its in the rules. CCW licencees are NOT allowed to wear face coverings while carrying.”

But there are no blanket “rules” that apply to wearing a mask while carrying a concealed weapon. Laws vary by state, and sheriffs across the country have issued statements debunking the claim.

“Concealed carry is a state by state deal,” Warren Eller, chair of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice public administration department, told us by email. “With that said, I can tell you that none of the 8 states I have had permits in have any such rule.”

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Provisions related to wearing masks or face coverings “are not necessarily in concealed carry statutes,” Anne Teigen told us by email. She covers state firearms policy for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Those regulations are often found in separate statutes.

The NCSL compiled a list of 18 such state laws, plus one in the District of Columbia. Most of those laws address the use of a face covering during the commission of a crime or to conceal a person’s identity. None of the laws specifically reference someone carrying a legally permitted concealed weapon.

We’ll use North Carolina as an example since, as Eller pointed out, the state’s concealed carry law generated news after Gov. Roy Cooper announced on June 24 that everyone must wear face coverings while in public.

Nowhere in North Carolina’s concealed carry law does it mention the use of face masks or coverings. But an unrelated section of state law does. It’s titled, “Prohibited Secret Societies and Activities,” and when it was passed in 1953 it was referred to as the “anti-Ku Klux Klan statute.”

Creators of this false meme are confusing the concealed carry weapons law with an unrelated law, in the case of North Carolina, concerning Prohibited Secret Societies and Activities statute.  Nowhere does this pertain to concealed carry weapons permit holders.  There is a difference in wearing a mask for health reasons and wearing a mask to conceal one’s identity or disguise one’s self to prevent being identified.

Here’s the part of North Carolina law that is being used.

 

  • No person or persons at least 16 years of age shall, while wearing any mask, hood or device whereby the person, face or voice is disguised so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, enter, be or appear upon any lane, walkway, alley, street, road, highway or other public way in this State.
  • No person or persons shall in this State, while wearing any mask, hood or device whereby the person, face or voice is disguised so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, enter, or appear upon or within the public property of any municipality or county of the State, or of the State of North Carolina.
  • No person or persons at least 16 years of age shall, while wearing a mask, hood or device whereby the person, face or voice is disguised so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, demand entrance or admission, enter or come upon or into, or be upon or in the premises, enclosure or house of any other person in any municipality or county of this State.
  • No person or persons at least 16 years of age shall while wearing a mask, hood or device whereby the person, face or voice is disguised so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, hold any manner of meeting, or make any demonstration upon the private property of another unless such person or persons shall first obtain from the owner or occupier of the property his or her written permission to do so, which said written permission shall be recorded in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which said property is located before the beginning of such meeting or demonstration.

 

  • It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, while wearing a mask, hood or device whereby the person, face or voice is disguised so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, to place or cause to be placed at or in any place in the State any exhibit of any kind whatsoever, with the intention of intimidating any person or persons, or of preventing them from doing any act which is lawful, or of causing them to do any act which is unlawful. For the purposes of this section, the term “exhibit” includes items such as a noose.

North Carolina’s Governor Roy Cooper issued a statement declaring that wearing a mask does not in any way affect one’s ability to carry a concealed weapon.

FactCheck.org continued:

At least three North Carolina sheriff’s offices also have publicly clarified that it’s not illegal to wear a COVID-19-related mask while carrying a legally permitted concealed weapon.

As the rumor spread widely online, sheriffs in other states have done the same.

Responding to the broad claim in the meme, John Donohue, a professor at Stanford Law School who has done research in the area of concealed carry laws, told us by email, “This issue is largely the product of either the paranoid element that exists in part of the American gun community or the malicious element that also exists in part of the gun community that often seeks to divide Americans, which is particularly reprehensible at this stressful time.

“If you are lawfully carrying a concealed weapon, no one will know, so the mask will be a non-issue. If you are wearing a mask to protect your health or that of others, you cannot be prosecuted,” Donohue said. “The only problem that would occur would be if you are trying to conceal your identity to commit a crime, in which case you are a criminal and should be arrested.”

So, while laws vary by state, we were unable to find an example of a regulation that makes it illegal to carry a permitted concealed weapon while wearing a face mask for health reasons. And there is no nationwide rule that would broadly apply to all concealed carry permit holders.

In the States specifically mentioned by FactCheck.org – Indiana, Illinois, Georgia, Michigan, and Tennessee, the masks laws pertain to the commission of crimes, not wearing masks for health reasons and carrying a concealed weapon.  So, wearing a mask does not affect one’s ability to carry a concealed weapon when holding a permit.  If you are complying with your State’s concealed carry statute, then wearing a mask during this period for health reasons does not change anything.

If you have a concealed weapon carry permit, you should have received a copy of your State’s statute when you received your permit in the mail.  Refer to it for clarification for States not mentioned.  And, you can always check with your local sheriff’s department or firearm association for clarification.

This brings us to another issue – the videos that are making their way around YouTube of individuals wearing masks for health reasons attacking those who are not wearing masks.  These people assaulting an innocent individual just for not wearing a mask are committing a crime.  Assault and battery is a crime and any individual faced with a mob attempting to do so has every right to defend him or her self with the appropriate necessary force to protect themselves.  And, anyone witnessing this has the moral responsibility to aid the individual being attacked.  In this situation, those who are wearing masks are using intimidation and threat of bodily harm to prevent an individual from engaging in a lawful activity – purchasing items for their own use – unless submitting to an out of control mob.  It is convenient that some people would do this when their face is hidden under the guise of “protecting health”.

Policies are not law;  mandates are not law.  Executive orders are not law period.  Yet, this is what we are seeing in some places where stores have implemented “mask policies” for customers.  One must ask the question, why are people worried about someone not wearing a mask if masks work?  Evidently, people wearing masks don’t believe they work or videos of innocent individuals being assaulted for not wearing a mask wouldn’t be surfacing.

Vast troves of information are available on the COVID-19 plandemic disputing what is coming out of the lamestream government-controlled entertainment propaganda media and Washington, DC.  Scores of people have taken their time to research this topic extensively, provide information, and provide source documents for review.  It’s on you if you fail to access that information and make an informed decision.  It’s also on you if you feed into the propaganda without checking their sources and references;  that is, if they provide any, which they usually do not.  Who do you believe?  Well, who has lied to you the most?  Answer that question and it isn’t difficult to know what to believe.

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