Business owner charged for violating governor’s mask order in Lincolnton, N.C.

Business owner charged for violating governor’s mask order in Lincolnton, N.C.

LINCOLNTON, N.C. (WBTV) - The owner of a business in Lincolnton has been charged for violating Gov. Roy Cooper’s mask order in North Carolina.

Lincolnton Police confirmed Tuesday the owner of Burton Farms General Store was charged on a criminal summons for violating the Governor’s Executive Order 147.

The owner, Jonathan Burton, was charged on June 29, 2020.

Under, Executive Order 147, businesses must have all workers wear face coverings. Retail businesses must also have all customers wear face coverings when they are inside the establishment and may be within six feet of another person, unless the customer comes under an exception identified in the order.

The order states that citations can be written to businesses or organizations that fail to enforce the requirement to wear face coverings. Law enforcement personnel cannot criminally enforce the face covering requirements of this Order against individual workers, customers, or patrons.

There’s no word on what put this businesses in violation of the order.

A WBTV News team went to the store on Wednesday. A reporter said about half of the shoppers were wearing a mask, while many of the employees were not wearing masks.

WBTV reached out to the owners to the general store about the citation and are waiting for a comment. There is a sign on the doors though that says “Everyone cannot wear a mask. We respect your right to choose what is best for you and your family.”

Another sign says that anyone who is not wearing a mask is assumed to have an “Honorary Exemption” with a list of the exemptions in Governor Cooper’s mask mandate.

Many shoppers said they don’t think a small business should have been cited.

“I mean what is the big deal? I’m not going in and kissing up on these workers. I have sanitizer in my car,” said one shopper who didn’t want to use her name. “Leave the little man alone. You know? The little man is what carries this country.”

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