What does it mean if you're out on the open lands of Texas and you encounter purple paint?

It is not a sign that a TCU or Tarleton State alumni live there. It does not signify the home of the late performer known as Prince. It has nothing to do with the movie "The Color Purple".

Purple paint is a clear legal warning in Texas.

Texas' Purple Paint law went into effect on September 1, 1997. The color purple is a legally recognized alternative to a "no trespassing" sign. Signs often deteriorate over time for many reasons. Weather, cows scratching their itches, or vandals can cause a "no trespassing" sign to fade away.

Purple paint on a tree trunk or a fence post is a legally recognized warning that trespassers can be held criminally liable for entering the property without the owner's express permission.

The paint provision is part of Texas Penal Code §30.05, which says it’s illegal for anyone to enter property that is fenced, posted with at least one sign, or marked with purple paint on trees or posts. Trespass can be a Class B or C misdemeanor in Texas, punishable by up to a $2,000 fine or up to 180 days in jail.

If a hunter trespasses with a deadly weapon like a rifle or shotgun, charges can be upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor. This means you could be fined up to $4000 or spend an entire year in jail.

It will not be a jail with purple bars.

The law specifies that to be legal, the purple paint marks must be vertical and at least 8 inches long, and at least 1 inch wide. The law states that the paint must be "placed so that the bottom of the mark is not less than 3 feet from the ground or more than 5 feet from the ground."

If purple marks are used, they must be placed at least every 100 feet on forest land and every 1000 feet on all other lands.

Texas is not the only state with purple paint laws. In Texas the law is strict.  In Texas, land posted with purple paint is closed to trespassing of any kind.

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