Missouri high court weighs sex offender and gun laws

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 Tuesday on five cases dealing with sex offenses and guns.

A 2009 law prohibits convicted sex offenders from being near public parks with playgrounds or swimming pools. Three people are challenging whether that applies to them because they were convicted of sex offenses before 2009.

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

Missouri prohibits retroactive and ex post facto laws. The attorney general's office contends the ban on retrospective laws relates to civil statutes, not criminal ones.

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