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Missouri Supreme Court Weighs Retrospective Action On Sex Offenses And Gun Laws

The Missouri Supreme Court (file)
(St. Louis Public Radio)
The Missouri Supreme Court (file)

The Missouri Supreme Court is considering whether laws restricting actions by sex offenders and felons can be applied to people who were convicted before the laws were enacted.

The court heard arguments on Tuesday on five cases dealing with sex offenses and guns.

Three people are challenging whether a law passed in 2009 applies to them because they were convicted of sex offenses before the law was made. The law prohibits sex offenders from being near public parks with playgrounds or swimming pools.

Two others are challenging a law that prohibits felons from possessing guns. The restriction was expanded to all felonies in 2008, and both men were convicted before then.

While Missouri prohibits retroactive and ex post facto laws, the attorney general’s office contends the ban relates to civil statues, not criminal ones.