PA Purple Paint Law

Credit: Farm and Dairy

No Trespassing

I believe that private property ownership is the cornerstone of our freedom. Posting signs and installing fences can be an expensive and time-consuming effort to ward off would-be trespassers. Rural landowners within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania now have the option to paint marking on trees and posts on their property in the color purple. These markings (when created in accordance to the standards under the law) carry the same significance as standard No Trespassing signs.

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House Bill 1772 was signed in November of 2019 by Governor Wolf. It took effect 60 days later in January 2020. The bill amended criminal trespass law in the Commonwealth, Title 18 Section 3503(b)(1). The law spares landowners (particularly in rural areas) from having to regularly replace printed signs.

Under the amended law, landowners are now able to utilize purple paint on trees or posts as a lawful method of notifying defiant trespassers. The markings carry the same significance as No Trespassing signs. The purple lines must be not less than 8 inches in length and 1 inch in width. The lines must be made so that the bottom is not less than 3 feet from the ground nor more than 5 feet from the ground. They must be placed at locations that are readily visible to a person approaching the property and no more than 100 feet apart. In addition, the section of law shall not apply to an unarmed person who enters onto posted property for the sole purpose of retrieving a hunting dog.

Defiant trespass in Pennsylvania is a third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines. If trespassing occurs while hunting, additional game law violations and penalties may also apply. The only two counties that this section does not apply to are Allegheny and Philadelphia.

Of course, you can likely find a specific color of purple for this purpose in your local hardware stores called No Hunting Purple. The color purple was selected because it is not utilized by utilities or timber. The color purple is also usually visible to persons who are color blind.

Several other states have adopted Purple Paint Laws over the years. Arkansas was the first in 1989.

Pennsylvania House Bill 1772
Click Here to Read House BIll 1772, Amending Title 18 section 3503(b)(1)

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