A number of municipalities and counties in Florida have issued executive orders that require citizens to wear masks because COVID. They appear to be unenforceable. Let me explain. First, there is the city of St Petersburg’s order, (pdf warning) which reads:

Effective Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at 5:00 PM, the following requirements regarding the use of face coverings in places of public assemblage will go into effect :

(a) “Face covering” means (i) a cloth face covering that covers the mouth and nose, as described by applicable guidance from the CDC, or (ii) any equivalent face covering . A face covering may be store-bought or homemade .
(b) Except as provided in section 5, any person who is 18 years of age or older shall wear a face covering while in a place of public assemblage. That face covering must (i) be worn in a manner that covers the face and nose; (ii) remain affixed in place without the use of  the person’s hands; and (iii) otherwise comply with CDC guidance for wearing such a face covering.
(c) If a person is under the age of 18, that person’s use of a face covering is left to the discretion of that person’s parent, guardian, or accompanying adult. Applicable guidance from CDC states that a face covering is not appropriate for babies or children under the age of 2.
(d) This section does not require or allow a person to wear a face covering in a manner that violates Florida Statutes chapter 876. 

Taking a look at (d), let’s go ahead and see what the applicable parts of 876 have to say:

876.14 Wearing mask, hood, or other device on property of another.—No person or persons over 16 years of age shall, while wearing a mask, hood, or device whereby any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer, demand entrance or admission or enter or come upon or into the premises, enclosure, or house of any other person in any municipality or county of this state.

So unless I have the written permission of a property owner, I am prohibited from wearing a mask. That one clause makes the entire executive order unenforceable. 
Let’s look that the one for Orange County (including Orlando). (pdf warning) That order reads (in part):

This Order does not apply to employees and patrons of first response, government, healthcare or medical, veterinarian, shelter or rehabilitation, childcare, utility providers, construction, or transit agencies.

Everyone in the county is a patron of government or utility providers, and therefore the order does not apply to them. 
This is either being done on purpose, or the people who are writing the orders are complete morons. I lean towards it being on purpose, because I can buy one order being written by idiots, but I cannot believe that there is not one single competent adult amongst all of the people writing these orders.

(Edited to correct statute)

Categories: Uncategorized


Borepatch · June 27, 2020 at 6:04 pm

I have heard that you cannot wear a facemask when you are carrying a firearm.

Divemedic · June 27, 2020 at 6:31 pm

I have not seen any such statute, nor am I aware of one. If anyone has the applicable statute, please share it.

Miguel GFZ · June 28, 2020 at 6:28 am

Regarding Florida and masks, you get 876.155 (intentions) and 876.166 (exceptions).

If you are wearing a mask and you are behaving like a nice person, you are OK.
If you are wearing a mask and behave criminally, you are in extra caca.

Angus McThag · June 29, 2020 at 5:39 pm

One problem with the intentions and exceptions as written is it's not YOUR intentions that allow the exceptions but the subjective decision of the cops. It's in the same area as "unintentional exposure" of a concealed firearm.

It's fascinating in a slow-motion-train-wreck sort of way to see how mens rea was stripped systematically in Florida and where it still remains.

Comments are closed.