BUFFALO, N.Y. -- One of our 2 On Your Side viewers emailed us asking why her 70-year-old husband had to show his driver's license in order to purchase spray paint, so we set out to VERIFY an answer.
He made the purchase at the Home Depot store on Elmwood Avenue in North Buffalo. His wife, Nancy, asked if there was a new law that required I.D. to buy the product. We found no such new law.
In order to get her an answer, we first called the store. An employee told 2 On Your Side that Home Depot does check drivers' licenses to make sure the purchaser is at least 21. He thought maybe it was a state law, but he wasn't sure.
So we moved up the chain and reached out to Matt Harrigan with Home Depot public relations. He sent us a statement saying, "we require ID in the Buffalo market at the direction of our vendor, Rustoleum. I'd recommend checking directly with them for more information."
That's what we did.
A spokesperson eventually got to the bottom of it.
"The City of Buffalo prohibits the sale of spray paint to anyone under the age of 18," said Vince Pierri, manager of public relations for Rustoleum.
He referenced us to a City of Buffalo ordinance, which says the following:
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, business or corporation to sell, deliver, give or furnish spray paint, aerosol or otherwise, or broad-tipped markers to persons under 18 years of age.
Penalties for offenses. Any person or corporation or other business entity that violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $500 and/or imprisonment for not more than three months and mandatory 100 hours of community service.
Further research showed us the Common Council passed a resolution instituting the ban on spray paint sales to minors after vandalism to Delaware Park back in 2011.
Buffalo isn't alone. Some other municipalities, including New York City, also have restrictions on companies selling spray paint to young people. In the Big Apple, you have to be 21. It's part of an anti-graffiti initiative.
Nancy appreciated the update but still questioned why Home Depot would ask for I.D. from a 70-year-old man to prove he's at least 18. It's a very fair question, don't you think?