JEFFERSON CITY - With crowds gathering for public protests, in Missouri and across the country, seemingly becoming the new normal, a state representative in Jefferson City aims to set down some new ground rules.
Republican Don Phillips from Kimberling City in southwest Missouri wants to make it illegal to wear a mask during a protest while crimes are being committed. Those crimes could range from looting to disorderly conduct.
"If there's illegal activity going on, that's when this kicks in," said Representative Phillips.
HB179 will get its first public hearing in the Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee, a committee chaired by Phillips, next week.
If it's signed into law by Governor Eric Greitens, wearing a mask during a protest when crimes are being committed would be a Class B Misdemeanor.
"Public safety and law enforcement are two of the governor's priorities," Phillips told Five on Your Side. "I think it's something he would be OK with, should it make it to his desk."
Anyone who covers their face for religious or cultural reasons would be exempt from the proposed law.
© 2017 KSDK-TV