Can I legally wear a facekini on beaches in the United States?

I am asking as there are sometimes regulations that prevent individuals from wearing some types of clothes (e.g., anti-mask laws).

I am mostly interested in the states of California, Florida, and Massachusetts.

I found the following information on http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/mcs/maskcodes.html:

CALIFORNIA: Penal Code Section 182-185 185. Section One Hundred and Eighty-five. It shall be unlawful for any person to wear any mask, false whiskers, or any personal disguise (whether complete or partial) for the purpose of: One--Evading or escaping discovery, recognition, or identification in the commission of any public offense. Two--Concealment, flight, or escape, when charged with, arrested for, or convicted of, any public offense. Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

MASSACHUSETTS: Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 268 Section 34. Whoever disguises himself with intent to obstruct the due execution of the law, or to intimidate, hinder or interrupt an officer or other person in the lawful performance of his duty, or in the exercise of his rights under the constitution or laws of the commonwealth, whether such intent is effected or not, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year and may if imprisoned also be bound to good behavior for one year after the expiration of such imprisonment.

FLORIDA Chapter 876 Criminal Anarchy, Treason and other Crimes Against Public Order 876.13 Wearing mask, hood, or other device on public property.--No person or persons shall in this state, while wearing any mask, hood, or device whereby any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer, enter upon, or be, or appear upon or within the public property of any municipality or county of the state.

876.155 Applicability; ss. 876.12-876.15.--The provisions of ss. 876.12-876.15 apply only if the person was wearing the mask, hood, or other device:

(1) With the intent to deprive any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws or for the purpose of preventing the constituted authorities of this state or any subdivision thereof from, or hindering them in, giving or securing to all persons within this state the equal protection of the laws;

(2) With the intent, by force or threat of force, to injure, intimidate, or interfere with any person because of the person's exercise of any right secured by federal, state, or local law or to intimidate such person or any other person or any class of persons from exercising any right secured by federal, state, or local law;

(3) With the intent to intimidate, threaten, abuse, or harass any other person; or

(4) While she or he was engaged in conduct that could reasonably lead to the institution of a civil or criminal proceeding against her or him, with the intent of avoiding identification in such a proceeding.

Am I correct to infer from this that wearing facekini is legal in California, Florida, and Massachusetts as long as I do not intend to perform unlawful acts, or obstruct the execution of the law?

  • 2
    Your interpretation is consistent with at least my plain language interpretation of the statutes (i.e. all three states include "intent [to do something bad]" as a component of the mask crime)... I'll see if I can find any case law backing us up. – user3851 Sep 1 '16 at 19:04
  • It would seem there must be some provision which allows the public wearing of masks and disguises or else kids asking for candy at Halloween would be breaking the law on a massive scale. – Patrick87 Sep 1 '16 at 19:26
  • 1
    @Patrick87 Maybe that's true only if the kids intend on the "trick" part of "trick or treat?" – Burned Sep 1 '16 at 19:31
  • 1
    The problem with laws which describe "intent" and/or "for the purpose" to do X is that it's up to interpretation if that applies to you. – Philipp Sep 2 '16 at 14:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.