By Sandy . . . The primary message of NARSOL’s Halloween Marathon and the press release sent before the Marathon is spelled out explicitly in the last paragraph: “We are putting them [law enforcement] all on notice. They will be challenged every time they start threatening the constitutional rights of registered citizens. These types of illegal impositions on registered people and their families will no longer be tolerated.”
Therefore, when a NARSOL member, a West Virginia registrant, notified us of a letter he had received from Lt. S.M. Pettry, W. V. State Police, informing all registrants in West Virginia of a federal 21-day prior notice requirement, complete with itinerary, for travel outside of the United States, we went on alert. When the letter also included a mandate to fill out the form accompanying the notification and return it to the registry office, the alarm ratcheted up to high.
NARSOL promptly investigated the matter, and as a result, on November 12, 2019, sent this letter to Lt. Pettry.
The salient points are:
- NARSOL’s position is that registrants cannot be required to complete a federal travel form 21 days before international travel until the state enacts this requirement into its statutory scheme.
- [T]he WVSP Superintendent has no legal authority to unilaterally implement non-WV-legislated and codified amendments to the WV registry scheme.
- Nothing in the WV-Registry statute requires a registrant to respond to mail from the WV Sex Offender Registry.
- This threat is completely without legal authority since nothing in the WV registry statutory scheme requires that a registrant must receive and respond to mail sent to them from the WVSP.
The letter was sent by certified, registered U.S. mail. NARSOL awaits a response from Lt. Pettry and will update this report if and when one is received – or if one is not received.
We mean what we said; we ARE watching; we WILL challenge.
Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.