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'It's against our constitutional rights': Boise shop reclassifies business as private after mask mandate

Central District Health on Tuesday passed a measure requiring everyone in Ada County to wear a mask when in public. Boise previously passed its own mandate.

BOISE, Idaho — From Boise, to Meridian to Eagle and Kuna, people of all ages are wearing masks after Central District Health passed a measure requiring everyone in Ada County to wear a mask when in public. 

But not every business agrees with the mandate.

“It's against our constitutional rights,” said Jeff Buck, owner of Bucks 4x4 in Boise.

He posted a sign two weeks ago, informing his customers that his business is no longer open to the general public. Instead, it will only allow United States citizens who believe in their constitutional right of freedom from oppression to enter the privately-owned facility.

“It also says if they choose to enter this facility they understand that they've entered a private, not public, place of business, and the requirement to wear a mask does not apply, your right to choose to wear a mask in this facility is your decision,” Buck said.

He told KTVB the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. 

RELATED: Central District Health approves mandate requiring face masks in Ada County

But does he have the right to reclassify his business as private? What's the difference between the two? 

“A private business is one where the membership or the attendance depends upon either an ownership or a membership, whereas a public business is somebody can just generally walk into your business off the street,” said Matthew Taylor, supervising attorney at Taylor Law Office.

For example, restaurant or shops are typically considered public businesses.

“You can’t really reclassify yourself in the purpose of a national emergency which is kind of what we have here,” Taylor said. “Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has said that individual interest when compared to the community and its right of self-defense in an epidemic is subservient to the larger and greater good. We live in a democracy and as a whole you have to give up individual freedoms for the protection of the greater good.”

In Meridian, President and CEO of the Meridian Chamber of Commerce Sean Evans told KTVB Tuesday's mandate is guidance many businesses there were eager to see.

“With this countywide mandate it really takes the responsibility off them and puts it back into the health care, public officials realm of responsibility,” Evans said. 

As for Buck, he says he's not telling people not to wear a mask, just giving them the option to make their own decision. 

“Everybody has their own individual right to make up their own mind and take care of themselves how they see fit, that's what makes America so great,” Buck said.

RELATED: Idaho coronavirus latest: State breaks record for new daily cases, deaths

RELATED: These Idaho cities are requiring masks to be worn in public

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