Act Now: Tell your lawmakers that failure to wear a mask into a store with posted signage should not be a criminal offense

OUR STAND

  • On March 9, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency and public health emergency in response to COVID-19 via executive order. A month later, he signed an executive order setting forth mask requirements as well as medical exemptions to those requirements. According to the order, workers and customers are to wear cloth face coverings “except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age.” It goes on to say, “Where an individual declines to wear a face covering on store premises due to a medical condition that inhibits such usage, neither the essential retail business nor its staff shall require the individual to produce medical documentation verifying the stated condition.”
  • On August 13, Senator Richard Codey (D-27) introduced S2814, a bill that makes failure to wear a mask upon entry into a store with posted signage during the declared emergency a criminal trespass offense. The companion bill, A4453, was filed on July 27, with primary sponsorship by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-28).
  • Under S2814/A4453, a person will be charged with a criminal violation “if that person is not properly wearing a mask, which at a minimum simultaneously covers the nose and mouth.” Offenses are subject to a fine ranging from $50 up to $500. If passed, the legislation will go into effect immediately and will expire when New Jersey’s state of emergency ends.
  • After learning that S2814 was scheduled to be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 22, residents immediately logged their opposition and signed up to testify. Within 24 hours, the bill was removed from the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, just a week later, A4453 was amended on the Assembly floor by Assemblyman Caputo. The bill’s language was expanded to include mandatory mask-wearing on “public transportation or public transportation service.” This includes rail passenger service, motorbus regular route service, paratransit service, motorbus charter service and ferry passenger service. With these amendments, the mask requirement will apply to individuals over age 4 and who are able to medically tolerate a face covering. A first offense is subject to a fine of $50, with subsequent violations from $50 to $500.
  • New Jersey residents need to remain vigilant; this bill could be placed on the agenda at any time. The decision to wear a mask is highly personal and should not be mandated. Individuals should not be coerced into wearing a mask for fear of being charged with a criminal offense. Please take action now by sending a pre-drafted email and tweet to your lawmakers! With just one click, you can urge them to stop S2814/A4453 if it comes before them.


Have a question or need help?

Looking for facts on masks? We’ve got them! Click here to learn why mandatory masks endanger your health and your liberties.

VIEW FAQs

Call to Action

On August 13, 2020, Sen. Richard Codey (D-27) introduced S2814, a bill that makes failure to wear a mask upon entering a store with posted signage during the declared state of emergency a criminal trespass offense. The Assembly companion bill, A4453, was filed on July 27, 2020, with primary sponsorship by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-28).

If S2814/A4453 is passed, a person will be found to be committing a criminal violation if that person is not properly wearing a mask which, at a minimum, simultaneously covers the nose and mouth. Violations are subject to a fine of $50 all the way up to $500. S2814/A4453 would take effect immediately upon passage and expire when the state of emergency under New Jersey Executive Order 103 ends.

On September 17, bill A4453 was reported out of Assembly Appropriations with amendments. After learning that S2814 was scheduled to be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 22, New Jersey residents immediately logged their opposition and signed up to testify. Opposition to the measure was strong, and within 24 hours the bill was removed from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On October 29, A4453 was amended on the Assembly floor by Assemblyman Caputo. The language was expanded to include mandatory mask-wearing on “public transportation or public transportation service,” including rail passenger service, motorbus regular route service, paratransit service, motorbus charter service and ferry passenger service. The amendments also included and defined “autocab” and “transportation network service.”

With the Assembly amendments, the mask requirement will now apply to individuals over 4 years of age and those who are able to medically tolerate a face covering. Additionally, a first offense is subject to a fine of $50, and subsequent violations are $50 to $500.

Stand Up – Mandatory Masks Can Harm Individuals And Are Not Proven Effective

Officials throughout the country, including those in New Jersey, are looking to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for their policy guidance on masks. The CDC has flip-flopped its position on masks several times this year. Although the agency is now recommending that everyone wear a mask in public, there is substantial scientific evidence showing that masks are harmful and a lack of evidence demonstrating they are effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

It is unethical and unconstitutional to force healthy citizens to abide by measures that can result in physical or emotional harm and that impinge on their ability to move freely throughout society without discrimination. As such, New Jersey residents need to remain vigilant. It is evident that the members of the New Jersey legislative body want to move S2814/A4453 quickly, and it could be put on the agenda to be heard at any time.

Public officials should not impose mandates to seek compliance, nor should they threaten individuals with fines to push them into compliance. Please stand up against medical tyranny by sending New Jersey lawmakers a pre-drafted email and tweet urging them to vote no on S2814/A4453 if it comes before them. When you’re finished, please share this campaign with your friends, family and neighbors. Remind them that constitutional rights don’t stop being important during times of emergency; they become more important.

Take Action

Share This