The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday voted in favor of legislation that would prohibit convicted sex offenders from operating ice cream trucks.

Senate Bill 1147 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm would criminalize the operation of an ice cream truck by a sex offender and would require vendors to obtain an operating permit through the State Department of Health. Gumm said the measure is part of a continuing effort to protect Oklahoma children from dangerous predators.

This law would allow Oklahoma families to rest easier, removing doubt as to whether a community vendor might be a sex offender in disguise, said Gumm, D-Durant. Its critical that we take every possible precaution to prevent future instances of abuse and exploitation. This legislation is another important part of that effort.

The measure would establish a penalty of up to two and a half years in prison for sex offenders who engage in ice cream truck vending. Additionally, the measure establishes a $500 fine for operating an ice cream truck without displaying the appropriate vending permit. Gumm said high-profile cases in other states have prompted the legislation.

We have a responsibility to ensure Oklahoma is a safe place for the most vulnerable members of the population, Gumm said. Im pleased the committee was in agreement that we need to be proactive on this issue and look forward to seeing the measure signed into law.