(a) (1) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation, except a parent or legal guardian, to sell or give or in any way furnish to another person, who is in fact under the age of 18 years, any etching cream or aerosol container of paint that is capable of defacing property without first obtaining bona fide evidence of majority and identity.
(2) For purposes of this section, “etching cream” means any caustic cream, gel, liquid, or solution capable, by means of a chemical action, of defacing, damaging, or destroying hard surfaces in a manner similar to acid.
(3) For purposes of this subdivision, “bona fide evidence of majority and identity” is any document evidencing the age and identity of an individual which has been issued by a federal, state, or local governmental entity, and includes, but is not limited to, a motor vehicle operator’s license, a registration certificate issued under the federal Selective Service Act, or an identification card issued to a member of the armed forces.
(4) This subdivision shall not apply to the furnishing of six ounces or less of etching cream or an aerosol container of paint to a minor for the minor’s use or possession under the supervision of the minor’s parent, guardian, instructor, or employer.
(5) Etching cream, aerosol containers of paint, or related substances may be furnished for use in school-related activities that are part of the instructional program when used under controlled and supervised situations within the classroom or on the site of a supervised project. These containers may not leave the supervised site and shall be inventoried by the instructor. This use shall comply with Section 32060 of the Education Code regarding the safe use of toxic art supplies in schools.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to purchase etching cream or an aerosol container of paint that is capable of defacing property.
(c) Every retailer selling or offering for sale in this state etching cream or aerosol containers of paint capable of defacing property shall post in a conspicuous place a sign in letters at least three-eighths of an inch high stating: “Any person who maliciously defaces real or personal property with etching cream or paint is guilty of vandalism which is punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.”
(d) It is unlawful for any person to carry on his or her person and in plain view to the public etching cream or an aerosol container of paint while in any posted public facility, park, playground, swimming pool, beach, or recreational area, other than a highway, street, alley, or way, unless he or she has first received valid authorization from the governmental entity which has jurisdiction over the public area.
As used in this subdivision, “posted” means a sign placed in a reasonable location or locations stating it is a misdemeanor to possess etching cream or a spray can of paint in that public facility, park, playground, swimming pool, beach, or recreational area without valid authorization.
(e) (1) It is unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to possess etching cream or an aerosol container of paint for the purpose of defacing property while on any public highway, street, alley, or way, or other public place, regardless of whether that person is or is not in any automobile, vehicle, or other conveyance.
(2) As a condition of probation for any violation of this subdivision, the court may order a defendant convicted of a violation of this subdivision to perform community service as follows:
(A) For a first conviction under this subdivision, community service not to exceed 100 hours over a period not to exceed 90 days during a time other than his or her hours of school attendance or employment.
(B) If the person has a prior conviction under this subdivision, community service not to exceed 200 hours over a period of 180 days during a time other than his or her hours of school attendance or employment.
(C) If the person has two prior convictions under this subdivision, community service not to exceed 300 hours over a period not to exceed 240 days during a time other than his or her hours of school attendance or employment.
(f) Violation of any provision of this section is a misdemeanor. Upon conviction of any person under this section, the court may, in addition to any other punishment imposed, if the jurisdiction has adopted a graffiti abatement program as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 594, order the defendant, and his or her parents or guardians if the defendant is a minor, to keep the damaged property or another specified property in the community free of graffiti, as follows:
(1) For a first conviction under this section, for 90 days.
(2) If the defendant has a prior conviction under this section, for 180 days.
(3) If the defendant has two or more prior convictions under this section, for 240 days.
Participation of a parent or guardian is not required under this subdivision if the court deems this participation to be detrimental to the defendant, or if the parent or guardian is a single parent who must care for young children.
(g) The court may order any person ordered to perform community service or graffiti removal pursuant to subdivision (e) or (f) to undergo counseling.
(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 523, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2003.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018