Defying the mask mandate

Defying the mask mandate

RALEIGH, N.C. — Not everyone is following Raleigh’s new indoor mask mandate. That includes the owner of a business in the heart of downtown.


What You Need To Know

Raleigh’s indoor mask mandate went into effect Friday night

A downtown Raleigh business owner is prohibiting masks in his store

The city of Raleigh says it is not issuing citations or warning at this time


Masks have never been required at Josh Breed’s downtown Raleigh store, “The Vault Raleigh.”

“Nope, and now they’re prohibited as the sign says,” Breed said.

Last Friday morning, one of Breed’s employees put up a sign on the door reading, “Masks are not allowed while shopping at the vault.”

Breed wasn’t too surprised about the mixed reaction on social media.

“Nah, not really. I mean we’re in the middle of ‘libville,'” Breed said.

He calls Raleigh’s indoor mask mandate unconstitutional.

“I’m tired of the executive fiats and mandates. If you’re scared, stay home, and uneducated, stay home, cause a mask ain’t doing [bleep], excuse my language,” Breed said.

We talked to Mark Robinson, a customer shopping inside the store without, as the sign mandates, a mask.

“This is his business, whoever business it is it should be to their discretion,” Robinson said.

Breed says his mask policy is also about security and a recent robbery, he says, at his store.

“The guy that stole the 40, that’s him walking through the door,” Breed said.

If he had a mask on, says Breed, he wouldn’t be able to identify who did it.

“It doesn’t make any sense to me, can’t just live and let live, always gotta be in someone else’s business,” Breed said.

Breed says he didn’t file a police report for the alleged robbery.

Breed wants to make this part clear too.

You can walk around his store with a mask on, but once you check out you have to take if off or you can shop somewhere else. 

A spokesperson with the city of Raleigh says at this point, the city is taking an educational approach to the mandate.

No citations or warning right now, but if that changes, Breed says he’ll see them in court.

The CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors and in public spaces, especially in areas with high COVID transmission cases, which includes Raleigh.​

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