Communities across the country continue to debate the development and adoption of residency restrictions the prohibit convicted sex offenders from residing in close proximity to areas where children are known to congregate. These laws, whether adopted at the state or local levels, have been successfully challenged on both constitutional and preemption grounds. Despite this, local governments continue to enact these laws, absent specific state legislation, in result to public pressure.
In June, Oklahoma enacted amendments to state law prohibiting any person registered as a sex offender from residing either temporarily or permanently within a 2,000-foot radius of any public or private school site; educational institution; playground or park that is established, operated, or supported in whole or in part by city, county, state, federal or tribal government; or a licensed day care center.
To address the constitutional problems with the Georgia law, the Oklahoma statute provides that establishment of a day care center or park in the vicinity of the residence of a registered sex offender will not require the relocation of the sex offender or the sale of the property. This statute also does not require anyone to sell or otherwise dispose of any real estate or home acquired or owned prior to the conviction of the person as a sex offender.
2008 New Laws, S.B. No. 763
The bill can be viewed at: