Article 4A.

Prohibited Secret Societies and Activities.

§ 14-12.2.  Definitions.

The terms used in this Article are defined as follows:

(1)        The term "secret society" shall mean any two or more persons organized, associated together, combined or united for any common purpose whatsoever, who shall use among themselves any certain grips, signs or password, or who shall use for the advancement of any of their purposes or as a part of their ritual any disguise of the person, face or voice or any disguise whatsoever, or who shall take any extrajudicial oath or secret solemn pledge or administer such oath or pledge to those associated with them, or who shall transact business and advance their purposes at secret meeting or meetings which are tiled and guarded against intrusion by persons not associated with them.

(2)        The term "secret political society" shall mean any secret society, as hereinbefore defined, which shall at any time have for a purpose the hindering or aiding the success of any candidate for public office, or the hindering or aiding the success of any political party or organization, or violating any lawfully declared policy of the government of the State or any of the laws and constitutional provisions of the State.

(3)        The term "secret military society" shall mean any secret society, as hereinbefore defined, which shall at any time meet, assemble or engage in a venture when members thereof are illegally armed, or which shall at any time have for a purpose the engaging in any venture by members thereof which shall require illegal armed force or in which illegal armed force is to be used, or which shall at any time muster, drill or practice any military evolutions while illegally armed. (1953, c. 1193, s. 1.)

 

§ 14-12.3.  Certain secret societies prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to join, unite himself with, become a member of, apply for membership in, form, organize, solicit members for, combine and agree with any person or persons to form or organize, or to encourage, aid or assist in any way any secret political society or any secret military society or any secret society having for a purpose the violating or circumventing the laws of the State. (1953, c. 1193, s. 2.)

 

§ 14-12.4.  Use of signs, grips, passwords or disguises or taking or administering oath for illegal purposes.

It shall be unlawful for any person to use, agree to use, or to encourage, aid or assist in the using of any signs, grips, passwords, disguise of the face, person or voice, or any disguise whatsoever in the furtherance of any illegal secret political purpose, any illegal secret military purpose, or any purpose of violating or circumventing the laws of the State; and it shall be unlawful for any person to take or administer, or agree to take or administer, any extrajudicial oath or secret solemn pledge to further any illegal secret political purpose, any illegal secret military purpose, or any purpose of violating or circumventing the laws of the State. (1953, c. 1193, s. 3.)

 

§ 14-12.5.  Permitting, etc., meetings or demonstrations of prohibited secret societies.

It shall be unlawful for any person to permit or agree to permit any members of a secret political society or a secret military society or a secret society having for a purpose the violating or circumventing the laws of the State to meet or to hold any demonstration in or upon any property owned or controlled by him. (1953, c. 1193, s. 4.)

 

§ 14-12.6.  Meeting places and meetings of secret societies regulated.

Every secret society which has been or is now being formed and organized within the State, and which has members within the State shall forthwith provide or cause to be provided for each unit, lodge, council, group of members, grand lodge or general supervising unit a regular meeting place in some building or structure, and shall forthwith place and thereafter regularly keep a plainly visible sign or placard on the immediate exterior of such building or structure or on the immediate exterior of the meeting room or hall within such building or structure, if the entire building or structure is not controlled by such secret society, bearing upon said sign or placard the name of the secret society, the name of the particular unit, lodge, council, group of members, grand lodge or general supervising unit thereof and the name of the secretary, officer, organizer or member thereof who knows the purposes of the secret society and who knows or has a list of the names and addresses of the members thereof, and as such secretary, officer, organizer or member dies, removes, resigns or is replaced, his or her successor's name shall be placed upon such sign or placard; any person or persons who shall hereafter undertake to form and organize any secret society or solicit membership for a secret society within the State shall fully comply with the foregoing provisions of this section before forming and organizing such secret society and before soliciting memberships therein; all units, lodges, councils, groups of members, grand lodge and general supervising units of all secret societies within the State shall hold all of their secret meetings at the regular meeting place of their respective units, lodges, councils, group of members, grand lodge or general supervising units or at the regular meeting place of some other unit, lodge, council, group of members, grand lodge or general supervising unit of the same secret society, and at no other place unless notice is given of the time and place of the meeting and the name of the secret society holding the meeting in some newspaper having circulation in the locality where the meeting is to be held at least two days before the meeting. (1953, c. 1193, s. 5.)

 

§ 14-12.7.  Wearing of masks, hoods, etc., on public ways.

No person or persons at least 16 years of age shall, while wearing any mask, hood or device whereby the person, face or voice is disguised so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, enter, be or appear upon any lane, walkway, alley, street, road, highway or other public way in this State. (1953, c. 1193, s. 6; 1983, c. 175, ss. 1, 10; c. 720, s. 4.)

 

§ 14-12.8.  Wearing of masks, hoods, etc., on public property.

No person or persons shall in this State, while wearing any mask, hood or device whereby the person, face or voice is disguised so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, enter, or appear upon or within the public property of any municipality or county of the State, or of the State of North Carolina. (1953, c. 1193, s. 7.)

 

§ 14-12.9.  Entry, etc., upon premises of another while wearing mask, hood or other disguise.

No person or persons at least 16 years of age shall, while wearing a mask, hood or device whereby the person, face or voice is disguised so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, demand entrance or admission, enter or come upon or into, or be upon or in the premises, enclosure or house of any other person in any municipality or county of this State. (1953, c. 1193, s. 8; 1983, c. 175, ss. 2, 10; c. 720, s. 4.)

 

§ 14-12.10.  Holding meetings or demonstrations while wearing masks, hoods, etc.

No person or persons at least 16 years of age shall while wearing a mask, hood or device whereby the person, face or voice is disguised so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, hold any manner of meeting, or make any demonstration upon the private property of another unless such person or persons shall first obtain from the owner or occupier of the property his or her written permission to do so, which said written permission shall be recorded in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which said property is located  before the beginning of such meeting or demonstration. (1953, c. 1193, s. 9; 1983, c. 175, ss. 3, 10; c. 720, s. 4.)

 

§ 14-12.11.  Exemptions from provisions of Article.

The following are exempted from the provisions of G.S. 14-12.7, 14-12.8, 14-12.9, 14-12.10 and 14-12.14:

(1)        Any person or persons wearing traditional holiday costumes in season;

(2)        Any person or persons engaged in trades and employment where  a mask is worn for the purpose of ensuring the physical safety of the wearer, or because of the nature of the occupation, trade or profession;

(3)        Any person or persons using masks in theatrical productions including use in Mardi Gras celebrations and masquerade balls;

(4)        Persons wearing gas masks prescribed in civil defense drills  and exercises or emergencies; and

(5)        Any person or persons, as members or members elect of a society, order or organization, engaged in any parade, ritual, initiation, ceremony, celebration or requirement of such society, order or organization, and wearing or using any manner of costume, paraphernalia, disguise, facial makeup, hood, implement or device, whether the identity of such person or persons is concealed or not, on any public or private street, road, way or property, or in any public or private building, provided permission shall have been first obtained therefor by a representative of such society, order or organization from the governing body of the municipality in which the same takes place, or, if not in a municipality, from the board of county commissioners of the county in which the same takes place.

Provided, that the provisions of this Article shall not apply to  any preliminary meetings held in good faith for the purpose of organizing, promoting or forming a labor union or a local organization or subdivision of any labor union nor shall the provisions of this Article apply to any meetings held by a labor union or organization already organized, operating and functioning and holding meetings for the purpose of transacting and carrying out functions, pursuits and affairs expressly pertaining to such labor union. (1953, c. 1193, s. 10.)

 

§ 14-12.12.  Placing burning or flaming cross on property of another or on public street or highway or on any public place.

(a)        It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to place or cause to be placed on the property of another in this State a burning or flaming cross or any manner of exhibit in which a burning or flaming cross, real or simulated, is a whole or a part, without first obtaining written permission of the owner or occupier of the premises so to do.

(b)        It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to place or cause to be placed on the property of another in this State or on a public street or highway, or on any public place a burning or flaming cross or any manner of exhibit in which a burning or flaming cross real or simulated, is a whole or a part, with the intention of intimidating any person or persons or of preventing them from doing any act which is lawful, or causing them to do any act which is unlawful.  (1953, c. 1193, s. 11; 1967, c. 522, ss. 1, 2; 2008-197, s. 1.)

 

§ 14-12.13.  Placing exhibit with intention of intimidating, etc., another.

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to place or cause to be placed anywhere in this State any exhibit of any kind whatsoever, while masked or unmasked, with the intention of intimidating any person or persons, or of preventing them from doing any act which is lawful, or of causing them to do any act which is unlawful. For the purposes of this section, the term "exhibit" includes items such as a noose.  (1953, c. 1193, s. 12; 2008-197, s. 2.)

 

§ 14-12.14.  Placing exhibit while wearing mask, hood, or other disguise.

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, while wearing a mask, hood or device whereby the person, face or voice is disguised so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, to place or cause to be placed at or in any place in the State any exhibit of any kind whatsoever, with the intention of intimidating any person or persons, or of preventing them from doing any act which is lawful, or of causing them to do any act which is unlawful. For the purposes of this section, the term "exhibit" includes items such as a noose.  (1953, c. 1193, s. 13; 1967, c. 522, s. 3; 2008-197, s. 3.)

 

§ 14-12.15.  Punishment for violation of Article.

All persons violating any of the provisions of this Article, except for G.S. 14-12.12(b), 14-12.13, and 14-12.14, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. All persons violating the provisions of G.S. 14-12.12(b), 14-12.13, and 14-12.14 shall be punished as a Class H felon.  (1953, c. 1193, s. 14; 1967, c. 602; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 12; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2008-197, s. 4.)