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Oklahoma State Senate
OFFICE OF SENATOR JAY PAUL GUMM
Atoka, Bryan, Coal, Johnston & Marshall Counties

For Immediate Release: March 9, 2010

Sen. Jay Paul Gumm
Sen. Jay Paul Gumm

Senate Unanimously Approves Gumm’s Bill
Enlarging Zone of Safety to Protect Children

The full Senate voted unanimously Wednesday for a bill by Senator Jay Paul Gumm to increase the “zone of safety” around schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds and parks.

Under current law, sex offenders are prohibited from loitering within 300 feet of those places where children congregate. Gumm’s bill – Senate Bill 2064 – would extend the zone of safety to being within 500 feet of the locations. Further, the bill would put new restrictions on sex offenders who enter the zone to pick up or drop off their own children.

Gumm, a Democrat from Durant, says the bill is aimed at keeping convicted sex offenders farther away from children and teens.

“This is aimed at convicted sex offenders who may attempt to loiter near these places,” said the senator. “Make no mistake: we are talking about predators seeking prey – that is why I want to increase that zone of safety to better protect our children.”

Gumm said that those offenders who have legitimate business in the area only could be within that zone of safety for a “reasonable” amount of time and would have to inform the school or childcare facility of their status as a sex offender prior to entering the area. Further, the offender would have to inform the facility of the specific time he or she will be in the zone.

“When it comes to protecting Oklahoma’s children from those who would prey on them, we need to utilize every method available to us,” Gumm said. “As a father, I can tell you I would rather have a sex offender 500 feet away from my child than 300 feet.”

The senator has repeatedly passed and supported efforts to better protect Oklahoma’s children from predators. In 2006, Gumm wrote a bill to impose the death penalty on repeat child molesters. That bill passed the Legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Brad Henry.

SB 2064 legislation now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

For more information contact:
Sen. Gumm: 405-521-5586

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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