Niagara County Sex-Offender Laws May Be Repealed

September 19, 2012 Updated Sep 19, 2012 at 6:48 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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September 19, 2012 Updated Sep 19, 2012 at 6:48 PM EDT


LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) The Niagara County Legislature has scheduled a public meeting for October 2nd at 6:45pm to discuss plans to repeal the county's tough sex-offender law.

The move comes after recent court rulings said local laws cannot be more strict than the one enacted by New York State.

Under the New York State law, level-3 sex offenders, convicted of sexual offense against a minor, cannot live within 1,000-feet of schools, playgrounds, or places where children gather while the offender is on probation or parole.

Niagara County added to the law prohibiting Level 2 offenders as well.

Concerns over lawsuits forced the City of Lockport to repeal its 6-year old sex-offender law which was even more restrictive than Niagara County's.

"It's frustrating," commented Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker.

"We certainly don't want to pay out some frivolous lawsuit to a sex-offender, so we backed off," added Tucker.

"These interest groups, like the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) have taken these to court and had them struck down though what I consider to be a legal loophole," said New York State Senator George Maziarz.

This fall, Senator Maziarz says he plans to introduce new legislation that would give more power to local governments to regulate sex-offenders, thus freeing them from worries about lawsuits due to unenforceable buffer zones.

"We are not going to stop. We are going to continue to try and make it as restrictive as possible," said the Senator.