July 11, 2007
Norris Unveils New Sex Offender Law and Registry
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris, (R-Collierville), wants Tennesseans to know there’s a new weapon in the fight against crime: on-line mapping. Citizens can now search for detailed information concerning the identities of those convicted of sex crimes. And there is a mapping feature enabling anyone to search within a radius of their homes, schools or businesses.
Earlier this year, Norris sponsored legislation broadening the scope of those who must register to include anyone convicted of a sexual offense in the past whether out of state or in Tennessee regardless of when or where. Prior law required registration for convictions on or after January 1, 1995.
The new law, cosponsored by fellow Shelby County Republicans Jim Coley (R-Bartlett), Ron Lollar (R-Bartlett), Paul Stanley (R-Germantown) and Curry Todd (R-Collierville), is Public Chapter 465. It was passed June 7, 2007 and signed into law June 21, 2007.
To access the new Sexual Offender Registry, Norris has posted a link to the TBI at his website: www.marknorris.org.
“Anyone who has ever been convicted of a sexual offense has until August 1 to register,” says Norris who was asked to toughen the law by residents of Collierville last year.
“We were driving to church one Sunday morning when we were flagged down by a young mother with children in her car. A sex offender from another state had moved into her neighborhood and was living near the Tara Oaks Elementary School. He had not registered. Turns out the law didn’t require him to at that time. Now it does,” said Norris.
The offender in question has since moved away.
The names and addresses of nearly 10,000 offenders are available. They are posted by the state at www.tbi.state.tn.us.
“We are working together for a safer Tennessee,” says Norris who represents the West Tennessee counties of Shelby, Tipton, Lauderdale and Dyer.
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