In their statements to commissioners on Tuesday, petitioners pleaded with the commission to reverse an amendment to an ordinance passed in 2020, barring them from entering within 1,000 feet of businesses where children typically congregate.

Their comments included examples of barriers they face because of the county regulation, and the negative impact that is having for their families and other loved ones.

The attendance of the registered sex offenders at Tuesday’s meeting was made possible because commissioners modified a section of the county code in March that prohibited those on the sex offender registry list from entering the Brevard County Government Center in Viera. The regulation, passed in 2006, bars someone on the list from occupying a space within 1,000 feet of a school or a recreation area.

Registered offenders, with the Florida Justice Institute acting on their behalf, filed a lawsuit, claiming the 2006 rule violated their freedom of speech rights and hindered them from seeking redress from their government.

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