There has undoubtedly been a significant increase in the popularity of comic convention-type events that corresponds with the rise of comic-book-based television programming and movies. Fantasy role-playing is an opportunity to be creative and to escape reality, if only for a little while. People love to dress up as their favorite characters and superheroes. Many of these costumes involve masks or other face coverings which are necessary to complete the iconic look. While it may be fun to dress up and wear masks, you may stop and wonder if it is legal to wear masks in public in Nevada.
Is it Legal to Wear a Mask in Public in Nevada?
There are many states that outlaw the wearing of masks in public. While many other states have specific laws prohibiting wearing a mask in public, Nevada does not have a law on the books preventing this activity. As such, you might see people wearing masks for fun while on the strip in Las Vegas or while attending a weekend conference. You will also see many people wearing masks around Halloween.
Nevada even has a county—Elko County—where there is a law that expressly requires people to wear a mask at all times! It is outdated and unenforced nowadays, but back during the early 20th century when the law was introduced, it made sense because people were dying at very high rates due to influenza and medical masks were worn to protect citizens from exposure to the influenza virus.
Not Illegal, but Frowned Upon or Prohibited Nonetheless
Although it may not be illegal to wear a mask in public, there are circumstances in which such behavior might be frowned upon or prohibited. For instance, it is not uncommon for banks to have a policy against people wearing masks while inside the bank. The obvious reason for this is that many bank robberies involve thieves who wear masks to conceal their identities. Bank security will most definitely confront you and ask you to remove a mask if you try to wear one into or around a bank.
Additionally, whenever mask wearing causes concern in the community, police might be called in to put a stop to it. For example, a person who wears a mask while stalking around a public park where children play nearby will almost surely induce a protective parent to call the police to report suspicious activity. When police arrive, the individual wearing the mask will be asked to remove it and/or to leave because their behavior is scaring people around them.
If you want to wear a mask in public, it is legal in Nevada, just make sure that you are not acting in a way that could cause people to become upset or concerned. So while wearing a stormtrooper helmet will make you popular, donning a balaclava will freak people out. If you have questions or concerns about wearing masks in Nevada, you can speak to one of the professionals at Parry & Pfau. We are happy to schedule a free consultation with you.
(image courtesy of Arvin Febry)