Governor testifies for bill requiring stricter sex offender rules

CARSON CITY — Gov. Jim Gibbons put in an appearance at the Legislature on Tuesday to support a bill requiring sex offenders to register with local law enforcement before their release from prison.

Current law requires a sex offender to register with law enforcement within 48 hours of arriving in a community.

The bill also requires sex offenders who move to Nevada from out of state to provide biological specimens to law enforcement at the time they register.

“Senate Bill 471, that I have proposed, makes two important changes to close some of the loopholes that exist in the current laws regarding convicted sex offenders,” Gibbons told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The delay in registering can allow a sex offender to be unsupervised for a period of time that could pose a danger to children, he said. And, although sex offenders convicted in Nevada must provide a DNA sample, that same requirement does not exist for those who move to Nevada from another state, Gibbons said.

“This bill will ensure we receive their DNA samples as well,” he said. “And this will ensure we have an accurate record on file for all sex offenders who reside here no matter where they commit their crimes.”

Gibbons said sex offenders are often highly intelligent and seek out states where laws governing their conduct are weak. These changes will take Nevada off that list, he said.

There was no immediate action on the measure, which includes an amendment to allow local law enforcement agencies to collect $150 from any out-of-state sex offenders to cover the cost of the registration process.

No other witnesses testified at the brief hearing.

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