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Jacksonville poised to amend sexual predator regs in ordinance code

A bill has been filed in Jacksonville to increase regulation of sexual predators and to clarify prohibited activities for that criminal subset.

2016-233, filed by Council President Greg Anderson at the request of the General Counsel, would change ordinance code to clarify the types of events and decorations from which sexual predators and offenders are barred.

The measure is designed to clean up and add additional context to 2015-214, a bill introduced last year by Councilman Warren Jones.

Among the material changes:

  • “It is unlawful for any Sexual Offender or Sexual Predator to participate in any practice or event, including, but not limited to, any event related to a nationally or locally recognized holiday or seasonal event, if such practice or event involves is primarily targeted toward non-familial children and includes activities, such as distributing candy or other items.”
  • A clarification of the ban on Holiday displays by that class of criminals, “if such display could or would is primarily targeted to entice, attract, or lure a child onto, or nearer to, any residence, or property, or onto or nearer to any vehicle or vessel rented, owned or occupied by such person.”
  • An addition of “primarily targeted toward children” to the extant definition of display: “Display is defined as any decoration including, but not be limited to, lighting, figurines, posters, artwork, crystals, bales of hay, scarecrows, etc. which is visible to the public in plain view and is primarily targeted toward children.”

As well, the definition of “non-familial children” in the ordinance is liberalized, somewhat, including adopted children in the subset of children excluded from that designation.

We’ve reached out to Anderson and General Counsel Jason Gabriel for clarification on the impetus for this legislation, which thus far has not been assigned to committees.

Check back for updates.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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