Should Ski Masks Be Restricted in D.C.?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The D.C. Council might want to look at restricting the sale of ski masks in the district, says a member of one of the District's Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. (Published Monday, Feb 4, 2013)

    NOTE: A previous version of this story suggested that Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Faith Wheeler is calling for a ban on ski masks. Rather, she is asking that it be considered among other measures to curtail crime in D.C.

    The D.C. Council might want to look at restricting ski masks in the city, says a member of one of the District's Advisory Neighborhood Commissions.

    Commissioner Faith Wheeler says this should be one of a number of measures that should be explored in order to make it a little harder for criminals to hide their identities, which should help to reduce crime in the District.

    "It seems ski masks are used fairly often in holdups and assaults," Wheeler told News4's Shomari Stone. "Few criminals want to be identified. Otherwise, they wouldn't be wearing the ski masks and they wouldn't run away."

    People age 16 and older already face an additional charge if they're wearing a ski mask while committing a crime, though that law isn't prosecuted often, Stone reported.

    Some other cities have similar laws. In New York City, it's illegal to congregate in a group of people wearing face masks, Slate reported during demonstrations supporting the Russian pop group Pussy Riot.

    Others said that there's no need to go as far as banning the masks.

    "I don't think that banning ski masks is going to reduce robberies in the District of Columbia," said at-large Councilman Phil Mendelson. "People are allowed to wear headgear to protect themselves in the cold."