Printer Friendly


 CHICAGO, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A Federal Court in Chicago has ruled that banning the sale of spray paint is unconstitutional. "The court has given us a clear message: Paint bans are not only illegal; they won't work," said Helen Reetz, spokesperson for the Chicago Paint & Coatings Association, commenting on yesterday's Federal Court decision that struck down a city ordinance banning the retail sale of spray paint. The decision has implications for other communities contemplating a ban on paint sales as a way to curb graffiti. Several areas, including New York and New Jersey, are currently considering such legislation.
 "We're pleased with the victory, but now it's time to work together on beating graffiti," she said, adding, "We're ready to help the city stop paint theft and help clean up the mess created by these vandals."
 In throwing out the ban, Federal Judge Marvin E. Aspen, referring to the city's own evidence on the extent and strong motivation of graffiti perpetrators, wrote, "In this case, the answer to who creates graffiti and why leads to the conclusion that the challenged ordinances will sadly have no deterrent effect whatsoever."
 The court further pointed to city testimony showing that the vast majority of the city's "education, eradication and enforcement" programs began only after the suit was filed and that the city's funding for one of the older programs, the Police Department's highly touted education effort, had declined from $9,600 in 1983 to a mere $4,400 in 1990.
 Aspen disagreed strongly with the city's contention that a ban was needed and pointed out that programs based on principles the industry has advocated in Chicago were working, saying, "Certainly, the combination of vigorous law enforcement and prompt removal of graffiti has been successful with respect to the subway systems in both New York and Chicago."
 In a sweeping rejection of Chicago's ban on retail sales, Aspen stated that the ban imposed an "impermissible burden on interstate commerce"; violated "the plaintiffs' right to substantive due process"; and constituted an "illegitimate exercise of the city's police powers." Aspen's decision wipes out the ban, rushed through the Chicago City Council in May of 1992 in the belief that it was an anti-graffiti measure.
 Reetz said that an educational pamphlet outlining the industry strategy, "We Can Win The War on Graffiti," was being distributed to City Council members, community leaders and selected retail outlets to give Chicagoans the specifics of the government/business partnership approach to graffiti.
 "Let's work together to clean up Chicago," Reetz concluded.
 Plaintiffs in the suit were the National Paint & Coatings Association; the Rust-Oleum Corporation; The Sherwin-Williams Company; ACE Hardware Corporation; Tru-Test Manufacturing Company; Jim's Ace Hardware; W.C. Schauer Hardware Center, Inc.; and Smiley Ace Hardware, Inc.
 -0- 9/30/93
 /CONTACT: Tom Nicholson of Selz, Seabolt & Associates, 312-372-7090/

CO: Chicago Paint & Coatings Association ST: Illinois IN: REA SU:

CK -- NY129 -- 7584 09/30/93 19:42 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 30, 1993

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters