Halloween sex offender bill approved by Senate; protects children from higher levels of sex offenders

Halloween sex offender bill approved by Senate; protects children from higher levels of sex offenders
Arkansas Senator Trent Garner District 27 proposes bill to prohibit higher level sex offenders from certain Halloween related activities. (Source: KAIT-TV)

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - A bill to prohibit a registered sex offender from participating in certain Halloween related activities would help ensure the safety of children, a state Senator said Thursday.

The bill was approved by a 29-1 margin in the state Senate on Jan. 24.

Sen. Trent Garner, R-El Dorado said the idea for the bill - Senate Bill 10 - came from a news story a few years ago about Arkansas not having any laws on the books to protect children from sex offenders on Halloween night.

“You know Halloween is such a fun night, kids going house to house,” Garner said. "It’s a specially susceptible time for them to be harmed, let’s make sure we protect them from the real monsters.”

If the bill is signed into law, Level 3 and 4 sex offenders would be prohibited from giving out candy or other items, and putting on masks during Halloween related activities.

Garner is confident the bill will pass and said he has a couple of House members support including Representative Rebecca Petty of Rogers who is a strong advocate for children in the state.

The bill now heads to the House Judiciary Committee.

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