A new law that will take effect Nov. 1 would close a loophole in the current sex offender registration statutes.
House Bill 3016, by Rep. Sean Roberts and Sen. AJ Griffin, will require sex offenders to register in Oklahoma if they spend 14 days in the state in a 60-day period. Current law only requires them to register if they spend seven consecutive days in the state.
Roberts said the legislation is a critical tool for law enforcement.
“Law enforcement must be able to track the movement of sex offenders,” said Roberts, R-Hominy. “This legislation addresses sex offenders that come to stay in Oklahoma on a consistent basis, but never for seven consecutive days. An example would be an offender coming to stay with someone every week but never for a full week. The details of this legislation may seem trivial but current law allows sex offenders to legally hide in our communities by using this loophole. Closing the loophole means that law enforcement can take action against those who sneak into our communities without notification or registration.”
Griffin said sex offender statutes must be continually reviewed and updated.
“It is important that we continually review our laws to ensure that the public is appropriately informed and protected,” said Griffin, R-Guthrie.
The legislation was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives by an 88-4 vote on March 5. The state Senate voted in favor of the bill unanimously, 45-0, on March 31. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the law Monday.