Washington lawmaker introduces bill to ban wearing masks in public

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OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A bill introduced in the Washington state Senate would ban the wearing of masks on public streets.

Senate Bill 5941, introduced Monday, would make mask-wearing a misdemeanor.

Bill sponsor Sen. Jim Honeyford says acts of vandalism and violence have occurred "under the guise of political speech."

The bill claims that recent demonstrations with masked protesters have become "a threat to public safety."

On May Day, about a few dozen masked protesters in Olympia turned violent, throwing rocks at police using slingshots. Fourteen people were arrested across Western Washington.

The proposed measure would ban people from wearing a mask, hood or device that conceals a person's identity on public streets, entryways, or places frequented by the general public.

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