Senate Bill S9867

2023-2024 Legislative Session

Relates to concealment of identity in a lawful or unlawful assembly or riot

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Current Bill Status - In Senate Committee Rules Committee


  • Introduced
    • In Committee Assembly
    • In Committee Senate
    • On Floor Calendar Assembly
    • On Floor Calendar Senate
    • Passed Assembly
    • Passed Senate
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed By Governor

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2023-S9867 (ACTIVE) - Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A10057
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Add §240.12, Pen L

2023-S9867 (ACTIVE) - Summary

Establishes the offense of concealment of identity in a lawful assembly, unlawful assembly or riot.

2023-S9867 (ACTIVE) - Sponsor Memo

2023-S9867 (ACTIVE) - Bill Text download pdf

                             
                     S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
 ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                   9867
 
                             I N  S E N A T E
 
                               June 14, 2024
                                ___________
 
 Introduced  by  Sen. SKOUFIS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
   printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules
 
 AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to  unlawful  concealment  of
   identity
 
   THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
 BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
 
   Section 1. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 240.12  to
 read as follows:
 § 240.12 CONCEALMENT  OF  IDENTITY IN A LAWFUL ASSEMBLY, UNLAWFUL ASSEM-
            BLY, OR RIOT.
   1. IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY  PERSON  OR  PERSONS,  INVOLVED  IN  A
 LAWFUL  ASSEMBLY,  UNLAWFUL  ASSEMBLY, OR RIOT, TO WEAR A HOOD, MASK, OR
 DEVICE WHEREBY THE PERSON OR THE PERSON'S FACE IS  DISGUISED  SO  AS  TO
 CONCEAL  THE IDENTITY OF THE WEARER. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY
 PERSON OR PERSONS WEARING PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT FOR THE  PURPOSE
 OF ENSURING THE PHYSICAL HEALTH OR SAFETY OF THE WEARER OR OTHERS DURING
 A  DECLARED PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY, NOR SHALL IT APPLY TO ANY PERSON OR
 PERSONS WEARING ATTIRE THAT CONCEALS THEIR IDENTITY  IF  THE  ATTIRE  IS
 WORN FOR RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE OR CUSTOMS.
   2.  FOR  THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, "PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT"
 SHALL MEAN ALL EQUIPMENT WORN OR USED TO MINIMIZE EXPOSURE TO A COMMUNI-
 CABLE DISEASE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO FACE COVERINGS  DESIGNED  TO
 MINIMIZE EXPOSURE TO A COMMUNICABLE DISEASE AND FACE SHIELDS.
   CONCEALMENT  OF  IDENTITY  IN A LAWFUL ASSEMBLY, UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY, OR
 RIOT IS A VIOLATION.
   § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
 
 
 
  EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                       [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                            LBD15380-03-4



              

Comments

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Susan_Rainey
3 weeks ago

Thank you for not supporting this bill. I am vehemently against it. I have been harassed on the streets of Astoria multiple times by men because myself and young child were wearing masks. We still wear masks to protect my medically vulnerable child and to protect ourselves from a COVID infection, as we don’t want to chance getting long COVID. If this bill were to pass it would make it more dangerous for us to wear masks in public. Also, we are no longer in a health emergency so no one would be allowed to wear masks at protests or any “gathering of people”. The NYPD makes up their own rules and could choose to interpret this law however they choose. It is my right to wear a mask wherever I choose to protect my body as well as vulnerable members of my family. I would love to be contacted by the senator to discuss my concerns in more detail. This bill does not make the streets safer for me and my family on the streets of NYC. It makes it more dangerous.

Doreen_Peykar
3 weeks ago

Thank you for supporting this Bill.

Gail_Kellogg
3 weeks ago

As a person with asthma and allergies, a weakened immune system, and a father with a severe health condition, I highly oppose this bill. Only allowing masking by less than 3 people "in a legal assembly" which is literally anywhere for any purpose, "during a declared public health emergency" is absurd. This puts me and my family in immediate danger. I mask for air quality, for many chores, for hiking, my son's play group masks so we don't bring germs home to our families. This is serious overreach. It's hard enough to be a person who masks now, this would lead not only to personal harassment, but legal harassment too. I can't wait for you to declare an emergency to judge if I need a mask or not, that's between the air and my lungs.

Myra_Batchelder
3 weeks ago

This bill would endanger New Yorkers' lives and health. Please oppose this bill.

Lucky_Tran
3 weeks ago

I strongly oppose this bill. A mask ban makes New York less safe. There is no credible evidence that mask bans will stop crime, but there’s a lot of evidence that masks protect peoples health from concerns such as COVID, flu, allergens, wildfire smoke etc. Health exceptions and religious exceptions are not enough to address the problems of a mask ban. This bill as written would only allow a limited health exception “during a declared public health emergency,” which ended last year for COVID-19. But COVID is not over, and New Yorkers are still dying from COVID, and developing long-term serious health issues from COVID. Also, people should not have to disclose their health status, which would lead to harassment and discrimination. A mask ban makes New York less safe because it doesn’t take into consideration the safety of all New Yorkers. Many marginalized groups will be more unsafe if a mask ban is passed; a mask ban will increase harassment of higher risk and immunocompromised people, increase attacks on Asian people (who have been attacked for wearing a mask) and increases profiling of Black and Brown communities. Finally, as someone who works in public health, I am appalled that you are criminalizing masks; it’s one of the worst things you can do to a critical public health tool that has saved many lives. The mask ban bill is outdated; scientists didn’t discover viruses until 50 years after the ban was made law, and almost 200 years later the COVID pandemic has killed almost 100,000 New Yorkers. Ending the ban was the right decision, based on science. Please withdraw this poorly thought out bill that recklessly puts the health and safety of all New Yorkers at risk.

Lynn_Chealander
3 weeks ago

I have long covid. If this bill were passed, it would be illegal for me to "assemble" as I cannot go anywhere without masking. This would include, for example, if I wanted to protest the lack of investment in long covid treatments. Disabled people like myself have the right to protest, and this bill would take that away.

This bill will also have a chilling effect on other people masking. Given the risks of covid, dirty air, and other respiratory illnesses, everyone has a valid reason to mask. It's also in my personal self interest for people to do so, as more masking means fewer variants and makes public space more accessible for me.

This bill does not have a real health exemption - it limits it to a "public health emergency" (which was prematurely ended for covid last year). Even if it was amended to have one, how would that be enforced? Would I have to go to court to prove I'm disabled enough to have the right to mask? Would there be a government registry of people who are "allowed" to mask? Given the risks faced by vulnerable people, such an exemption would not work in practice.

It is not possible to have a mask ban that is pro- public safety. Any ban in any form would serve to exclude people from public life and make vulnerable people less safe. The only response is to oppose any attempt to discourage masking, and in fact do more to encourage it.

Bianca_Bernardi
3 weeks ago

Re: Senate Bill S9867
As someone who used to live in New York and travels there to visit on occasion, I'm writing this comment to express my opposition to the proposed mask ban set forth by this bill. Banning masks during a time when covid is still spreading widely and continues to kill people every day is unwise from a health perspective, and it also puts disabled, immunocompromised, and chronically ill people at higher risk of catching covid. Masks have proven effective in slowing the spread of covid and they're also helpful for protecting against poor air quality due to pollen, wildfire smoke, and pollution, and even during times when covid numbers are low, masks also help prevent people from catching or spreading other airborne viruses such as colds and the flu.

Create an account. An account allows you to sign petitions with a single click, officially support or oppose key legislation, and follow issues, committees, and bills that matter to you. When you create an account, you agree to this platform's terms of participation.