The Post’s Christine Stapleton reports that Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, has filed a bill that would ban the sale of spray paint to minors. Retailers who violated the ban could be fined $500.

The bill is designed to reduce graffiti in neighborhoods. Sen. Soto said he filed the bill in response to complaints from within his district.

“These sorts of things bring down everyone’s view of the neighborhood and property values,” Soto said. The fines would be used to improve and maintain local neighborhoods and parks. “We need to at least take a look at what the problem is in our neighborhoods.”

Soto also said he introduced the bill to target graffiti but knows that it may also prevent teens from using spray paint as an inhalant to get high – called “huffing.”

There are some precedents.

In Albuquerque, N.M., only parents, guardians or supervising adults can provide spray paint to minors.

The city council in Lackawanna, N.Y., went even further and made it illegal for anyone — regardless of age – to “possess graffiti implements” in a “public park, playground, swimming pool, recreational facility … or within 50 feet of an underpass, bridge, abutment, storm drain or similar types of infrastructure.”

In West Palm Beach, retailers who sell “aerosol paint containers, paint sticks or broad-tipped markers” must store the items within constant view of employees or surveillance equipment. If that is not possible, the items must be stored in an area that is off-limits to the public.

The store must also post a sign near the “graffiti implements” stating that “Graffiti is against the law. Any person who defaces real or personal property with paint or any other liquid or device is guilty of a crime punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine as provided by law.”

Click here for the story in The Palm Beach Post

Should Florida ban the sale of spray paint to minors? Darren Soto thinks so. | The Palm Beach Post
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