Sheriff will not enforce new order

Published 11:37 am Thursday, June 25, 2020

Polk County Sheriff responds to executive order on masks

COLUMBUS—Polk County Sheriff Tim Wright said on Thursday that his position has not changed regarding criminal enforcement of the governor’s executive orders.

“We have received numerous inquiries about Governor (Roy) Cooper’s new order requiring that masks be worn in most public places,” Wright said Thursday morning. “Our position has not changed on the criminal enforcement of these executive orders-our district attorney’s office has indicated that they will not be prosecuting business owners, and our office will not be using criminal charges to enforce these particular executive orders.”

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Wright did say people should still be aware that private property owners, including businesses may require a person to wear a mask on their property.

“Private businesses are also often subject to professional regulations and health codes, so please be considerate of business owners attempting to navigate this situation in a responsible manner,” Wright said.

Wright also addressed the issue of wearing a mask while having a concealed carry permit since laws at one time stated that a person is not allowed to carry a weapon while masked.

Wright said at this time the sheriff’s office position is that if someone is wearing a mask for medical/pandemic purposes, the prohibition will not be enforced. He said if his office receives any legal opinions to the contrary, he will update the public in the future regarding a concealed weapon permit.

For more information on the governor’s executive order issued on Wednesday visit