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Federal Government Publishes Proposed Changes to SORNA


The federal government yesterday published in the Federal Register proposed changes to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).  The changes encompass a total of 93 pages and include a wide range of topics, including retroactivity, tier levels, professional licenses and travel (both domestic and international).  Replies to the proposed regulations are due no later than October 13, 2020.

According to the proposed regulations, SORNA will apply to all individuals convicted of a sex offense, including those convicted before it was enacted.  The federal government claims to have this authority due, in part, to the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Smith v. Doe, which declared that registration did not constitute punishment, but was instead merely an administrative requirement.

“Because the proposed regulations include so many pages citing their authority to apply SORNA to individuals convicted before it was enacted, it appears that they are concerned that this matter could be challenged in court,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci.  “It is possible that ACSOL or another like minded organization will do so.”

According to the proposed regulations, SORNA requires all registrants to comply with its requirements “regardless of whether a registration jurisdiction has substantially implemented SORNA.”  This statement is important because currently only 17 of the nation’s 50 states have substantially implemented SORNA.

The proposed regulations repeat that the federal government places registrants in three tiers.  Those assigned to Tier 1 must register for 15 years while those assigned to Tier 2 must register for 25 years.  Individuals assigned to those tiers may reduce their period of registration based upon a list of factors.  Individuals assigned to Tier 3, however, must register for a lifetime.

The proposed regulations require additional information regarding employment, including whether a registrant has one more professional licenses.

“If the proposed regulations are adopted, we can expect the federal government to notify states that have issued a professional license to a registrant,” stated Bellucci.  “We are concerned that the states will, in turn, revoke those licenses.”

According to the proposed regulations, individuals will be required to notify their local registration office if they leave the jurisdiction for seven days or longer.  This requirement is proposed allegedly in order to protect children who reside at the location(s) where a registrant may visit.

The proposed regulations also address overseas travel for those subject to the International Megan’s Law.  Specifically, the regulations will require registrants to provide additional information to the federal government regarding their overseas travel such as whether they have dual citizenship and/or a passport issued by another country.

“ACSOL began its discussion of the proposed regulations on the same day they were published,” stated Bellucci.  “ACSOL will formally reply to the proposed regulations as an individual organization or in collaboration with like-minded organizations.”

Any individual that would like to volunteer to work with ACSOL on this effort should send an email to

Proposed rulemaking – SORNA – Aug 2020

Join the discussion

  1. Janice Bellucci

    @MH and others – The proposed regulations are not limited to international travel, they also address domestic travel in some situations. Specifically, they require registrants to notify the state in which they live if they plan to leave the state for 7 days or longer or if they are moving out of the state permanently. If a registrant fails to do so, he can be arrested by the federal government as soon as he crosses the state boundary. Given that there are registration offices that would refuse to accept such notices, the registrant would be required to prove that he attempted to do so. If he cannot prove his attempt, it is likely that he will charged and convicted by the federal government of failing to register. This one of the many reasons we must STOP the proposed regulations.

    • SR @ Janice

      Janice, how do we help stop this? There doesn’t seem to be anyone in particular we can contact since this isn’t something the senate nor the people are voting on. This is just Barr doing his own thing because apparently he now has a blank check.

      • Janice Bellucci

        @SR – There are many people and organizations that are currently working on responses to the proposed regulations. Please be patient.

        • SR @ Janice

          Thank you, Janice. I’ll continue supporting the efforts financially until a call goes out to do something else as well.

        • M C

          @Janice, I and several people I know would like to help fund any efforts regarding this specifically. Is there a way I can specify funds as going towards this effort, and where and how they should be directed? If I knew exactly what people and organizations specifically have something to do with this I could make sure funding help goes where it is going to be useful.

      • Joe

        Below is an email I received from the ACLU in MI.

        Please go to the link above it will take you to the new Proposed Federal Guidelines for the Adam Walsh Act (SORNA). You should read this document and then submit your own comments. I will give you some ideas but please do not ask me what to say or to help you say it. I can only advise you that these guidelines are not good for our cause. We must fight this with your comments, and you can also put in what changes you think they should make to the SOR. If you say that you want it done away with, they will not take or count that submission. Go with the fact and the studies that have shown that the SOR is not working and in fact causing more harm than good. Go with the low recidivism rates. Go with no one should be subject to lifetime on the SOR. Go with shorter times on the SOR for all Tiers. Go with path off the SOR for compliance and no further arrest for sex crimes. PLEASE DO SUBMIT COMMENTS! If you do not want your name or address added to the public comments you must follow the directions in the document.

    • TS

      Keep in mind too, all, some states require notification if you’re going to be gone for a minimum duration that is less than 7 days, e.g. 5 days; thus more stringent than the Feds. If you don’t know your state’s, check on it.

      • Will Allen

        This “telling the criminal regime when you leave town” nonsense is even more unacceptable than the Registries in general. The criminal regimes can’t justify it either. It is a probation/parole requirement that is illegal to inflict upon free citizens.

        Supposedly, according to their original lies, the Registries were created just so people could be “informed” about the people around them. That actually makes sense and could possibly be a legitimate reason to have Registries. The ONLY legitimate reason to have Registries (in a supposedly “free” country) is to prevent future crimes. That is the only legitimate reason.

        Given that, why would a criminal regime need to know that a person is not somewhere? They are supposedly telling people when a dangerous person is around. Why would anyone need to know if they are not around? To let their “guard” down? To let their stupid demon spawn play freely in their yards, whenever otherwise they supposedly can’t?

        It makes no sense. Why would the criminal regime want to know? Not to prevent crimes. So that makes it illegitimate.

        I’ve Registered multiple homes forever. I do not tell any of the criminal regimes when I am going to be at one home or another. What would be the actual point? So they know when they can harass my family? The people who live near those homes know what they supposedly “need” to know – that a dangerous person lives there and might be there sometimes or all the time. That is far more than they deserve to know even.

        So this “leaving town” notification is nonsense. I’d say illegal as well. If I ever have a home in another state (that I decide I will Register), I’m not putting up with this “tell state X that I am leaving my home there to stay at my other home in state Y for a month”. Not going to do it. They can arrest. But I hope they understand what that would mean, even if they don’t care.

  2. jm from wi

    This purely sucks. Will soon send $ towards ACSOL soon again.

  3. Janice Bellucci

    @MC – There are at least two ways to ensure donated funds are used to oppose the SORNA regulations. First, you can donate using the “Donate” button and in doing so there is a “comment” section where you can add the donation is for that purpose. Second, you can mail a check to ACSOL at 1215 K Street, 17th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814 and add “SORNA” on the “memo” line of the check. If anyone wants to make a donation of $1,000 or larger to a charity and possibly receive a tax credit, please send email to me at and I will provide further direction.

  4. Roger

    Registrants and supporters, don’t forget ACSOL in your estate planning. We are in this fight for the long run, and won’t give up until we win full justice for all registrants!

    And if you are fortunate enough to have stocks that have gained value in this rally, you can donate them to ACSOL and receive benefits. Before you do, contact us to get the details.

  5. M C

    @Janice, thanks, I’ll have someone reach out to you.

  6. J C

    Tell them every time I leave the state for 7 or more days. Nah. I travel to see family and friends frequently. Can someone please tell me how and who would actually be able to enforce such a non sense law? I’m pretty sure they have their hand busy with other things.

  7. David

    (I have to wonder how much of this Federal SORNA rules expansion is a direct result of Jeffrey Epstein’s dumbass escapades. 🤔😠)

    • TS


      Any good opponent learns from their losses including our US Gov’t. So, yes, Epstein has helped them as have other cases in the proposed reg updates.

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