NARSOL AR affiliate testifies at House committee; Halloween restrictions bill stopped – at least for now

By Jeannie Roberts . . . A bill that would prohibit sex offenders from participating in certain Halloween-related activities had a setback Thursday in the House Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 10 — sponsored by Sen. Trent Garner, R-El Dorado, and Rep. Rebecca Petty, R-Rogers — was knocked down by the committee after a lengthy discussion, but the vote was expunged, allowing its sponsors an opportunity to present it again later.

SB10 would bar a person required to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act of 1997 and who is assessed as a level 3 or level 4 offender from distributing treats to a child or from wearing a mask or other costume as part of a Halloween-related event.

The law would allow the sex offender to hand out candy or host a Halloween event if the minors are his or her own children. A violation would be a Class D felony, punishable by up to six years in prison.

Petty, who presented the bill to the committee, said Halloween is a more susceptible time for children to be harmed by sex offenders . . .

She cited sex-offender data from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Arkansas Crime Information Center, but did not provide statistics specifically about crimes committed by sex offenders on Halloween.

Rep. Andrew Collins, R-Little Rock, asked Petty if she was aware of studies that showed “zero increase” in sex offender crimes on Halloween.

“I do not have that answer,” Petty said. She then called on Arkansas Crime Information Center Administrator Brad Cozart to answer the question for the committee.

Cozart said he did not “have any hard data” specific to Halloween crimes by registered sex offenders.

Carla Swanson, the mother of a registered sex offender and the head of Arkansas Time After Time organization, a legislative advocacy group formed in 2010, told the committee that crimes by sex offenders on Halloween are rare and usually combined with another non-sexual violation.

Read the full article here at the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Related: NARSOL press release

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    • #51608 Reply
      Tim on Wisconsin

      Another win for rationality. Halloween is NOT a gov recognized holiday.
      The affirmative disability imposed by local tyrants who think they have legislative powers because their leadership have thrown off constitutional limits at every turn. The sex offender being the most viable scapegoat for political security given unfettered uses of databases. Free Men are paid to maintain machines, the registrant pays to maintain the state’s database machine. SORNA is the new form of indentured servitude. The electronic sort, with excellent marketing and packaging. Tools all.

    • #51606 Reply

      I wrote to Garner and Rogers both about this inane proposal. Not surprisingly, I didn’t get a reply. I doubt that they read my email, or that they would care if they did as I am a registrant and not a resident of Arkansas.

      Nonetheless, I repeat that followers of NARSOL and sites like it should start writing directly to lawmakers and reporters/editors as opposed to just on here, FAC, ACSOL, or SOSEN. Nothing is accomplished by our population repeating the same facts to each other. Start bombarding the legislators who devise this insanity and the journalists who support it if you want them to give the second thought that they should have been doing before they wrote the first word of their latest stupid law or story.

    • #51619 Reply

      At least some one is doing something successfully. Good going, and I hope she’s ready for the next fight.

    • #51631 Reply

      God bless NARSOL and the work you are doing. Great news.

    • #51760 Reply

      It’s as if they didn’t expect that question to come up and for the bill to just breeze by

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