Is The Purple Paint Law Still In Effect In Louisiana?
A lot of people have heard the Louisiana urban legend about seeing purple paint in the woods, and what it means. If you've heard about it before, you've probably heard that you could be arrested, or possibly shot, if you cross past purple paint.
So is that true? I've heard people say that it is the law, and I've also been told that the law was taken off the books. So are there actually "Purple Paint Laws"?
Well, in Louisiana, yeah. There is a law in Louisiana, commonly known as the "Purple Paint Law", that says if someone marks their property with purple paint, its the same as a "No Trespassing" sign. It's actually a part of Louisiana Revised Statute title 14, section 63, titled Criminal Trespass. Here's what the section on purple paint reads:
(2) The placement of identifying purple paint marks on the trees or posts on the property, provided that such marks are:
(a) Vertical lines of not less than eight inches in length and not less than one inch in width.
(b) Placed so that the bottom of the mark is not less than three feet from the ground nor more than five feet from the ground.
(c) Placed at locations that are readily visible to any person approaching the property and no more than one hundred feet apart on forest land, as defined in R.S. 3:3622 , or one thousand feet apart on land other than forest land.
Louisiana isn't the only state with "Purple Paint" laws. At least a dozen states have "Purple Paint" laws on the books. Some of them are pretty aggressive about it, but others have it listed as more of a "suggestion".
In Texas, the law is a pretty big deal. Check out this informative breakdown.
So if you've heard that the "Purple Paint Law" in Louisiana was stopped, don't listen. It's still in the law, and because of that, you could get shot.
Louisiana has "Stand Your Ground" laws in place, and with the way those laws are written, property owners can use deadly force. When KALB-TV wrote about Louisiana's "Stand Your Ground" laws, they summed it up like this:
"Here in the bayou state, that means any Louisianan can use force, deadly or otherwise, to protect oneself on his or her property."
That means if you do see purple paint, you might want to think twice. Even if your friend told you they don't think the law is real in Louisiana.