Fight back against proposed changes to SORNA

As you remember, the new SORNA regulations were introduced over a year ago. NARSOL published this report and analysis at that time. . As a reminder, regulations are handled by the executive branch who are in charge of implementing the laws our government puts into place. The laws themselves must be changed by lawmakers, who introduce bills suggested by WE THE PEOPLE who elect them. The people have asked for these tough laws. The original, full act is here.

The regulations were open to public input for 60 days from date of publication with that window closing in mid-October, 2020. Many people submitted comments during that time. That was our opportunity to alert the executive branch to known issues. When the window closed, it was due to be implemented, and most other regulations already have been. However, the current administration put this one on hold for a year.

That year is up, and the regulations are moving forward. There is no more official public comment or public input period. The only action that can be taken is to contact the office of Merrick Garland, the attorney general, demanding that the proposed SORNA regulations not be signed.

If a million or more people did this, could it make a difference? Perhaps. But even with all the members and supporters from every advocacy group doing so, we aren’t going to hit one million. It would be our advice to focus instead on (1) electing lawmakers who will work to improve these types of laws (2) learning how to successfully work with those lawmakers for change and (3) talking to those you know about the waste and ineffectiveness of the registry.

If you do want to take action, here is the contact information. You can call the U. S. Department of Justice and leave a comment on the agency’s comment line at (202) 353-1555, send an online message to the agency at, or mail a letter to Attorney General Garland at U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20530-0001.

Be sure to specify that the regulations we oppose are published in the Federal Register on Aug. 13, 202, in Proposed Rulemaking, Docket No. OAG 157 (AG Order No. 4759–2020)

You may wish to mention one or more of these points, or think of one or two of your own.

  • Proposed regulations would significantly harm almost 1 million U.S. families
  • Proposed regulations are vague because they create requirements that registrants cannot meet such as registering up to 4 times a year
  • Proposed regulations have a chilling effect on travel within U.S. that will harm family members in need as well as limit educational opportunities
  • Proposed regulations violate state rights to determine registration procedures
  • Proposed regulations have a chilling effect on First Amendment rights of registrants because they require disclosure of remote communications identifiers

Larry discussed this and related political issues on Registry Matters, an independent podcast, on October 30.

ACSOL held a Zoom meeting on November 1. An audio of that meeting is available here.

Sandy Rozek

Written by 

Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

25 Thoughts to “Fight back against proposed changes to SORNA”

  1. Avatarname goes here

    I said this a long time ago.

    The registry will crumble in on itself when it’s restrictions become so bad. Let’s hope this can make it to the supreme court and they’ll rule it as unconditional.

  2. AvatarTim in WI

    New fed regulations or not you’ll find me confronting this bull in the context of a FTR, Failure to provide information \ register trial by jury! Janice is right, registrants need to congeal but few of them do ” make noise” or protest at all. If gov can enslave it’s citizens to the maintenance of databases for life then the people will certainly suffer from it was themselves. Too bad most are too ignorant to figure that out.

  3. Avatarjm from wi

    In general I agree with all the above. I was one of the 600 plus people who took time to comment on the proposed legislation last year. I also took the time to skim 60% of the 600 plus commenters. Every one I read was against the proposal.
    Your statement that “The people have asked for these tough laws” is in my opinion misleading.
    Legislators use the legislation politically for votes. Did someone ask for IML? Or, did Smith dream it up himself to show he’s tough on hated registrants? It seems to me that lots of legislation on registration laws is a legislator using sex laws as a “slam dunk” to look important, and act tough on a hated class of citizens.
    I concur we elected them. We are therefore equally at fault. However, voting for one of any group of politicians will essentially be a vote which will harm us. Most politicians who draft these laws have to have heard of the scientific data which contradicts the necessity of the laws . Politicians including Judges are fearful of presenting or judging on scientifically and economically researched sex and registration laws because of the backlash of an an uninformed public. In my opinion most anyone asking for or drafting tough S.O. laws is profiting monetarily from the laws.

    1. AvatarTim in WI

      Amazing isn’t it! Hopefully the amount of negative feedback will have results, but the amount of propaganda being slung around by those who benefit from victim’s stance will likely continue to prevail. Why we, as a people continue to promote and encourage ” being a victim” as \for social profit which clearly exacerbates conflicts and increases violence. Like I tell those who would listen in FTR cases, a database cannot fix anything! It can however, be used to impose affirmative restraint. And that is exactly what was planned from the birth of it. Never underestimate the power of the database driven infrastructure to consolidate power to a very few.

  4. AvatarAnthony Luther

    This is another example of Federal Government overreaching the State to grab control of citizens. They don’t care about us or victims, it’s just technique that will go unnoticed by the majority. By the time they notice, it will be too late. Stop this if not for us then the country. The fence will hold us in not others out.

  5. AvatarAj

    It is amazing that i read this now, i register in 2 states. One i live in and one where my crime was committed 40 yrs ago.
    Yet the feds sent NO notice to me of implementing changes to rules and regulations whatsoever. Nor do the states, till after the fact. Last count by me had 870,000 registered offenders, but it grows daily. Look also, at how changes come during elections. Mid terms coming next year. Just amazing. This country is in turmoil, shootings, car jacking, etc all up. They of course want to unify everyone. So now the need to turn on us. I have been free from prison for 28 yrs. Not 1 individual in any government capacity has ever looked at anything more than my sentence. I am now 70 in bad health, and can almost guarantee that I will still be on the registry well after i am dead and gone. I will call, and write as i have since the beginning of the registry. I just no longer hold hope for a decent outcome. The government is in reality creating extremism by continued oppression.

  6. AvatarA Mistake They Made

    The purposed regulations also compelled free speech of registrants, by requiring registrants to show up in person and give information to the registration office or face criminal charges.

  7. AvatarEd C

    Sandy, I must respectfully disagree. One man, i.e. Merrick Garland, now has the ability to truly upset the registration apple cart. It won’t take a million voices. Rules can be avoided with much smaller numbers. While legislative activism is absolutely necessary, affecting legislation will take considerable time. The new DOJ rules will have much more immediate negative impacts.

    Everyone, please call/email/write the Attorney General in opposition to the proposed rules.


  8. AvatarJZ

    My takeaway from this article is that DOJ ignored the comments they solicited, changing none of the new regulations. Also, that this fight is already lost, much like the IML fight was. What’s next? Branding on skin? Microchips?

    In my humble opinion, registries will not go away or get better, just worse until meaningful court victories can be achieved. All we get are victories that affect just one, or at best, a handful of registrants, never the entire one million on the registry. Some of the recent so-called state victories never come to fruition as they are battled in court for years.

    We need constitutional lawyers to take on and defeat each state’s registry. Maybe then the Supreme Court will take notice. Until then, we just wait for the next legislative session to mete out more punishments.

  9. Avatarmut

    i like the comment about all the killings being a foreseeable result

    1. AvatarTim in WI

      A subject absolutely fair game in the context of FTR Trial. As all intended uses are! No reason not to bring up the topic of residence restrictions imposed by the people. When there is no requirement in the original sentence record that is fair game too! Where else is a jury supposed to look for what was determined ” by the state. “

  10. AvatarMichael

    Those regulations are already in place for SVPs in Pennsylvania. I have to register 4 times a year etc…

  11. AvatarLarry Kincaid

    So when are you guys able to change the registry in a way in North Carolina? Maybe have them remove the non-violent people from the registry, ones that have no victims if possible!? It would be a big change and also let them get to be apart of the 2nd chance act to expunge their crimes!

  12. AvatarOut of the country for good!

    “It would be our advice to focus instead on”…..
    (1) electing lawmakers who will work to improve these types of laws
    (2) learning how to successfully work with those lawmakers for change and
    (3) talking to those you know about the waste and ineffectiveness of the registry.
    The best advice that makes sense to most of us who know lawmakers are puppets and elections are rigged
    is number (4)
    Get out of the country, any way that is perfectly legal, while you still have a chance!

    1. AvatarFormer Offender

      No, getting out of the country for good is NOT a definitive way around the registry. With International Megan’s Law (IML) the bureaucrats have essentially made it impossible to move on with your life. I have lived overseas for a long time and until IML was fine. They will come after you how ever they can.

      I have written notes about IML on here before. Unfortunately very little is being done about it and people have chosen to sit on their hands while the law threatens the ability of those of us who are sex offenders to live in peace. I have taken the only option available to me and hired a lawyer to remove myself from the registry through the county court that I was convicted in. That has cost over $15,000 in legal fees.

      Now things have gotten worse and the bureaucrats are tightening the screws again. Excuse me if I have very little sympathy for those who are getting screwed harder now by the new law. After 4 years of being under IML I’m finally getting out from underneath it. I’m sick of being embarrassed by my birth country. I hope someone finally takes my advice and does something to kill off IML.

  13. AvatarWC_TN

    If, as the 6th Circuit ruled in Willman, there is a federal registry, what is the registering agency? How will two parallel registries work? How many will understand a duty to register at both the state and federal level? Will official guidance be given in advance or will the only notice be an arrest warrant after some new and unknown procedure was not followed to the letter?

    1. AvatarTim in WI

      Yes thats it IMO, how the database driven infrastructure use overruns state sovereignty ( and individual sovereignty) when used by feds.Therefore via Administrative conservatory theory they’ll superimpose themselves upon the day to day lives of the people via electronic means. It’s already happening but in greater numbers. A republic if you can keep it–B. Franklin

  14. AvatarWilliam Hart

    It seems ludicrous to me that someone convicted of a sex offense is subjected to these draconian measures while someone that commit insurrection attempting to overthrow the government goes virtually free.

    1. AvatarA Mistake They Made

      There are people that burnt cities to the ground and did not get arrested nor is there even an investigation. The law is completely unbalanced and biased yes!

  15. Avatarwes gray

    greetings to all advocates. I also advocate as much as I can. And true, alot of us, our families, etc. are kept locked in a state of guilt and fear so we are often afraid to. I recently had a win in court about polygraphs, where I confronted the court about several truths behind the unjust and dangerous laws that we face. I was listened to intently, and it went in my favor as a result. We need to be strong and not be afraid any longer. They are counting on us being afraid, and we need to reverse that fear back onto them. Part of my comments will focus on how our registry information follows us on the internet for a lifetime, even after many of us are off the registry. It cannot ever be completely removed. Also how the safety and privacy of our spouses, relatives, friends, and even our innocent and vulnerable children are at risk because internet information access connects all of our names together. Maybe sometimes we can feel defeated, and want to give up. But we must keep fighting. Its far from over. I believe that the truth will always win in the end.

  16. Avatarjim

    The only way for us to stop this is to go after these people who are doing this to us. I am saying to go after these people through court and if that doesn’t work go after them in a different way. Go after them with no remorse and no regrets like they have done to us. They are cowards and will back down I promise. They think by doing wrong to us makes a right, I think 3 wrongs are the answer.

  17. AvatarEd C

    Has everyone posting here written/emailed/called the DOJ to urge AG Garland to reject these proposed rules? Commenting in these BLOGS is simply preaching to the choir, and does little good unless it spurs others to action. Any person who has the time to post here has the time to actually do something.


  18. Avatarq

    Yeah…so if nobody thought this was always about a certain party and a certain goal of prosecutors to keep sticking it to the easy prey so they can the keep power in their hands…

    …I don’t know what anybody else was thinking but now people probably regret letting things go this far.

  19. AvatarJoshua Ferguson

    I wrote and called and asked family members that support us to do the same. I live in Kansas and they continually change things that aren’t even in the written laws.

  20. AvatarJoseph Park

    I have posted several times in this forum that I have a way to render the sexual offender registry in Georgia so useless that the state would have to abandon this clearly unconstitutional under the Georgia state constitution scheme.
    As with all sexual offense registries, Georgia’s is totally and utterly dependent on the registrants to keep the registration information current and up to date. Under the state constitution, no one can be compelled to take any action that would work to incriminate that person. This goes well beyond the Federal constitution’s 5th amendment right against providing evidence against oneself. While this particular clause doesn’t relieve you have the requirement to report in person, it does relieve you of having to speak, fill out forms, etc. which is what you are coerced to do to keep up the information in the state’s database.
    We should be looking at the tactics used by the anti-abortion folks. Gnaw around the edges until the statute is no longer workable.

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