You've driven across Missouri for years, whether it be on the interstate, a highway, a blacktop or even a gravel road, and you've noticed there's purple paint on a lot of fence posts, and even trees. What does it mean?

What does that mean? The Missouri Legislature enacted a Statute pertaining to trespassing during its 1993 legislative session. The Purple Paint Statute (RSMO 569.145), provides for Missouri landowners an alternative means of posting their property. Just like using no trespassing, no entry or keep out signs.

Purple paint markings seem to be most prevalent as landowners want to make their land boundaries obvious to the increasing number of hunters who will be roaming through the woods now and in the weeks ahead. The law was enacted in 1993 as an economical, easy and effective way for landowners to keep out trespassers. It's not a hunting regulation — it's a state statute that applies to trespassing issues at any time of year.

The statute provides that any person trespassing onto property marked by purple paint can be found guilty of a first-degree trespassing charge. Any unauthorized entry onto property marked with the purple paint marks is considered a trespass. First-degree trespassing is a Class B Misdemeanor, with potential punishment of a maximum $500 fine and/or a maximum of 6 months in jail.


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