LENEXA, Kan. — As kids head out trick-or-treating Tuesday, ghouls and goblins might not be the only ones parents want to look out for.
Under Missouri law since 2008, on Halloween night registered sex offenders cannot go outside to interact with children, or have outside lights on, and are required to post a sign stating no candy or treats are available at the home.
FOX4 asked parents at a Shawnee neighborhood Halloween event Monday (that was not hosted by a sex offender) if they knew about Kansas’ rules.
“Oh no, didn’t know are there rules about that?” Darcy and Travis Webster asked.
In Kansas, there’s no such law. Registered sex offenders who aren’t on active parole or probation with specific Halloween restrictions are free to pass out candy and decorate their houses. They also can wear costumes and attend any Halloween festival.
“Honestly I’ve never really thought about it. Around here I just figure if something was out there about that we probably would have heard about it,” Corey Bowman said.
Missourians can find registered sex offenders on the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s website. In Kansas you can find where register sex offenders are in your neighborhood on the Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s website.
Enter your address or zip code where you are trick or treating and sex offenders and their addresses will come up in map and list form.
FOX4 checked out five houses of sex offenders in Lenexa and Shawnee and while none had elaborate Halloween decorations, two had jack o lanterns on the porch.
KBI offers these additional tips:
- Accompany younger children at all times
- Teens should stay in groups and check in with a parent frequently
- Don’t let children enter residences of individuals they don’t know.