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CALIFORNIA STATE SUPREME COURT RULING ON RESTRICTING SPRAY PAINT SALES

 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Paint Council released the following media backgrounder:
 On Thursday, Feb. 4, the California Supreme Court ruled that state law relating to the sale and display of spray paint, intended as a deterrent to graffiti, did not preempt the enactment of additional restrictions by municipalities.
 This action cleared the way for the City of Los Angeles to apply a law forcing retailers to remove spray paint from their shelves and to sell the products only from secure areas.
 The Los Angeles ordinance is intended to deter vandals from the illegal purchase or theft of paint which could later be used for graffiti. The paint industry estimates a first year loss in Los Angeles sales of 42 percent and a first year compliance cost of several million dollars.
 Although Los Angeles has no comprehensive anti-graffiti plan and no general coordination of community resources necessary to combat graffiti, a number of other California cities are expected to copy the Los Angeles paint "lock-up" approach.
 Background
 The use of paint product restrictions to combat the behavior of graffiti vandalism was popular for a short time in the early 1980s in some East Coast cities, the most prominent being New York. The practice gradually fell from popularity when it failed to reduce the vandalism it was intended to combat.
 Based on actual results, no major city has enacted a lock-up law from 1985 until the Los Angeles ordinance.
 Effective Control
 From the mid-1980s to the present, an effective graffiti control formula has been growing in acceptance.
 That formula includes:
 -- Early values education;
 -- Strong juvenile justice support;
 -- Effective law enforcement;
 -- Enforced parental responsibility; and
 -- Rapid community clean-up.
 The paint industry has been working with communities for the past six years to provide a clearing house for anti-graffiti program information; to train businesses in "Responsible Retailing" practices; and to establish community paint banks for rapid, low-cost clean-up.
 Economic Implications
 The Los Angeles "lock-up" ordinance, in that city alone, is expected to:
 -- Cost $5 million annually in retail sales;
 -- Eliminate over 70 jobs -- mostly women and minorities; and
 -- Reduce sales tax revenues by nearly one-half million dollars a
 year.
 It seems reasonable to assume that these laws will be popular until it again becomes apparent that they do not work and that vandals can use or make alternative graffiti tools at will.
 Future Prospects
 By effectively scapegoating the aerosol paint industry, Los Angeles has given any municipal government with a graffiti problem a convenient target against which to "do something" about graffiti. These new sales restrictions will force a reduction in the number of retail spray paint outlets and increase the difficulty of purchase for legitimate consumers. This will have the effect of cutting workers from manufacturing, distribution and retail payrolls.
 Paint Industry Plans
 The American paint industry will continue to work with communities to reduce or eliminate graffiti. Those efforts will include product storage and display controls, where appropriate.
 However, the industry will continue to stress education, parental responsibility and quality juvenile intervention as the short- and long-term solution to the graffiti problem.
 Further Inquiries
 For additional background on this issue or specific facts or documentation, please contact Matt Dustin at 916-443-5095, or Bob Hills at 703-751-3100.
 -0- 2/8/93
 /CONTACT: Matt Dustin for the California Paint Council, 916-443-5095/


CO: California Paint Council ST: California IN: SU:

KD -- DC020 -- 4225 02/08/93 15:32 EST
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Date:Feb 8, 1993
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