Dressing as a clown is illegal until after Halloween in one Mississippi county

KEMPER COUNTY, Miss. — One county in Mississippi has made dressing as a clown a crime — until after Halloween.

“The Kemper County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance during its regular meeting on Monday that makes it unlawful for any person of any age to appear in public in Kemper County in a clown costume, clown mask or clown makeup,” the Kemper County Messenger reported.

Violators can be fined up to $150. The temporary ban expires on Nov. 1.

The “creepy clown” trend “has really gotten out of hand,” the Messenger quoted Board President Johnny Whitsett as saying. Whitsett said he was concerned about how people might react if they saw a clown in their yard.

However, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union told the Associated Press that the First Amendment protects most clothing choices.

The AP quoted Lee Rowland as saying it’s “a ridiculous use of government authority …. to dictate which Halloween costumes people can wear.”