Wearing masks; unlawful for any person to wear with intent to conceal identity, penalty. (HB542)

Introduced By

Del. Delores McQuinn (D-Richmond)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Wearing masks during commission of crime; penalty. Provides that a person who wears a mask, hood, or other device that hides or covers a substantial portion of the face with the intent to conceal his identity while committing or attempting to commit a felony is guilty of a Class 6 felony and that such person is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor if the mask is worn while he is committing or attempting to commit a Class 1 misdemeanor. Under current law, it is a Class 6 felony for any person over 16 years of age to wear a mask in public or on private property without the consent of the owner, subject to certain exceptions. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/06/2014Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14101107D
01/06/2014Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/07/2014Impact statement from VCSC (HB542)
02/04/2014Assigned Courts sub: Criminal Law
02/05/2014Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (11-Y 0-N)
02/07/2014Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/07/2014Committee substitute printed 14104749D-H1
02/08/2014Read first time
02/10/2014Read second time
02/10/2014Committee substitute agreed to 14104749D-H1
02/10/2014Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB542H1
02/11/2014Read third time and passed House (99-Y 0-N)
02/11/2014VOTE: PASSAGE (99-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/12/2014Constitutional reading dispensed
02/12/2014Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/17/2014Reported from Courts of Justice (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/18/2014Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N)
02/19/2014Passed Senate (39-Y 0-N)
02/19/2014Read third time
02/19/2014Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)
02/21/2014Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB542ER)
02/21/2014Impact statement from DPB (HB542ER)
02/21/2014Signed by Speaker
02/23/2014Signed by President
03/05/2014G Approved by Governor-Chapter 167 (effective 7/1/14)
03/05/2014G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0167)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 3 clips in all, totaling 5 minutes.


Waldo Jaquith writes:

Bravo. The current law is enormous overkill. A felony for wearing a mask? (Today, courtesy of the "polar vortex," I wore a full-face mask, in the form of a balaclava, which was illegal under § 18.2-442.) This is a good change.