CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In North Carolina, it’s currently illegal for a sex offender to live within 1000 feet of a school. But in a surprising loophole, NBC Charlotte discovered the law says nothing about youth organizations or camps.
House Bill 374 would change that.
"Our goal here is to make sure when kids do leave the house and they do go to a summer camp, and that they are offered all the protections we can give them," said Rep. Brian Turner, one of the bill's sponsors.
Turner says the loophole was brought to their attention by Adam Boyd, Vice President of the North Carolina Youth Camp Association.
“North Carolina has the highest concentration of camps in the country -- we’re the silicone valley of youth camping," Boyd said. "We also want to be on the forefront of youth safety.”
There are currently 905 registered sex offenders in Mecklenburg County. NBC Charlotte found several living within a half mile of kids summer programs.
Rep. Turner says the language of the bill makes it so that it doesn't apply to everyone on the registry, just violent offenders and those who would be of significant concern.
"It primarily targets sexual predators whose victims were under the age of 18, which would be sort of the camp going age," he said.
The bill passed the NC House and moved into the Senate Monday.