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An Oklahoma city walked back an emergency declaration requiring customers to wear face masks inside businesses after threats of violence were hurled at store employees.

Officials in Stillwater announced the change Friday, less than 24 hours after the rule went into effect at stores and restaurants.

"In the short time beginning on May 1, 2020, that face coverings have been required for entry into stores/restaurants, store employees have been threatened with physical violence and showered with verbal abuse," City Manager Norman McNickle said in a statement. "In addition, there has been one threat of violence using a firearm."


Comment: It must be shocking for city officials to realize that citizens actually want their liberty and freedom not to be taken away by political do-gooders. Maybe they forgot which country they lived in.


No further details were provided about the alleged threats of violence.

Stillwater Mayor Will Joyce said on Twitter that he didn't expect the declaration to provoke a violent reaction.

"I knew there would be some objections, but I did not expect physical confrontations with employees and threatening phone calls to city hall," Joyce wrote. "I hate that our businesses and their employees had to deal with abuse today, and I apologize for putting them in that position."

He said that face masks still "strongly recommended" for residents when around other people — and will continue to be required for workers at public-facing businesses.

"We must find common ground and work together to deal with the circumstances our society is facing," Joyce tweeted. "Whether or not we agree on the details, we have to find ways to cooperate in the task before us."