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California’s Parent Accountability and Child Protection Act

Some products or services are illegal under state law to sell to a minor

By Chris Micheli, August 8, 2022 7:08 am

California has a number of formal acts in statute. Civil Code Division 3, Part 4, Title 1.81.45 provides the Parent’s Accountability and Child Protection Act, which is contained in Section 1798.99.1. Title 1.81.45 was added in 2018 by Chapter 872.

Section 1798.99.1 provides that a person or business that conducts business in California, and that seeks to sell any product or service in or into California that is illegal under state law to sell to a minor, is required to take reasonable steps to ensure that the purchaser is of legal age at the time of purchase or delivery, including, but not limited to, verifying the age of the purchase.

“Reasonable steps” for the purchase of items can include the specified ones in statute. But reasonable steps do not include consent obtained through the minor. Products or services that are illegal to sell to a minor under state law that are subject to the above restriction include all of the following:

  • An aerosol container of paint that is capable of defacing property
  • Etching cream that is capable of defacing property
  • Dangerous fireworks
  • Tanning in an ultraviolet tanning device
  • Dietary supplement products containing ephedrine group alkaloids
  • Body branding
  • Firearms or handguns
  • A BB device
  • Ammunition or reloaded ammunition
  • Any tobacco, cigarette, cigarette papers, blunt wraps, any other preparation of tobacco, any other instrument or paraphernalia that is designed for the smoking or ingestion of tobacco, products prepared from tobacco, or any controlled substance
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • A less lethal weapon as referenced in the Penal Code

In an action brought by a public prosecutor, a business or person that violates this section is subject to a civil penalty not exceeding $7,500 for each violation.

The provisions of this section do not apply to a business that is regulated by state or federal law providing greater protection to personal information or requiring greater age verification than provided by this section in regard to the subjects addressed by this section. Compliance with state or federal law is to be deemed compliance with this section with regard to those subjects.

A government-issued identification is defined. This section became operative on January 1, 2020.

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