Reference Roundup: Masks and the Law

July 15, 2020


When state and local governments began to require face masks to slow the spread of COVID-19, we received a flood of questions on what the law says about wearing a mask in various situations. From carrying a gun to reporting a mask violation, here's a look at some of the more common questions about masks we've gotten from library patrons.

Disasters & Emergencies Guide: Mask Laws

To start, the Mask Laws page of our COVID-19 & Texas Law guide is a great place to find information on masks and the law. This page details the current statewide mask requirement for individuals, local government requirements and mask policies for stores and businesses, and lots more. 

Can I Carry a Gun While Wearing a Mask?

This question is far and away our most frequently asked question about masks. Many of the Texans we heard from assumed that there are legal restrictions on covering your face while carrying a firearm. As of this time, we have been unable to find any Texas laws that would prohibit a person from carrying a firearm while wearing a mask. Please see our full Legal FAQ response on this topic for more information.

Does Texas Have an Anti-Mask Law?

When mask requirements for businesses and local governments throughout Texas initially appeared, many people thought that Texas had a law restricting people from wearing a mask in public. While Texas did have an anti-mask law at one time, this law was repealed in 1974. Here's a breakdown of this historical law.

How Can I Report Violations of Face Mask or Face Covering Orders?

Many people have asked us how to report businesses or other organizations that aren't following requirements for masks. Since one place can be under multiple state and local orders, it can be difficult to figure out where to report these violations. This FAQ helps explain how to determine where to report a violation of a mask order

Do I Have to Wear a Mask If I Have a Disability?

Several people contacted us with questions about following mask requirements if they have a disability that makes it difficult to wear a mask. Our Legal FAQ discusses several aspects of this question, including exemptions in legal mask requirements, types of disabilities that may affect the ability to wear a mask, and accommodations for businesses, workplaces, and government agencies.

Do you have a question about masks and Texas law that wasn't addressed here? Let us know via e-mail, chat, mail, or by leaving us a voicemail.

Can I carry a weapon while wearing a mask?

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