POLL: Should Towns be Allowed to Ban Sex Offenders?
State Rep. Timothy Robertson has proposed legislation that would make it illegal for cities and towns to keep sex offenders out.
State Rep. Timothy Robertson (D-Keene) has proposed a bill to make it illegal for cities and towns to ban sex offenders from moving to their communities, according to the Union Leader.
A public hearing on House Bill 442 was held Thursday in Concord. Civil liberties groups and state police support the bill, saying that prohibiting sex offenders from moving into towns does nothing to protect children and just forces sex offenders underground.
Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn opposes Robertson's bill, saying keeping communities from banning sex offenders "puts the most vulnerable among us – our children – at unnecessary and unacceptable risk." She called the legislation "foolish," and urged Gov. Maggie Hassan to veto it should it pass the House and Senate.
Senior Assistant House Republican Leader Sherman Packard (R-Londonderry) took issue with the fact that the bill interferes with the abilities of local communities to govern themselves.
"I do not understand why the Democrat sponsor of this bill wants to put our citizens, especially our children, in possible danger from these violent criminals," he said. "If the argument is that some criminals are currently inconvenienced, I say let them be inconvenienced and protect our children.”
Both Dover and Franklin have tried to implement sex offender bans, but they were thrown out by the courts after the American Civil Liberties Union sued.
What do you think? Should towns be allowed to ban sex offenders? Or is that a violation of their civil rights? Vote in our poll below, and leave a comment with your thoughts.