If some legislators in the Georgia State House of Representatives have their way, it will soon be against the law for a record store to sell an album with a parental guidance warning label to minors.
On Tuesday, the House referred a bill to
its Special Judiciary Committee that would make it a misdemeanor to sell to minors
albums bearing a parental warning sticker. The bill must now be
discussed by the committee, which will decide whether or not to refer it to
the full House. Although no hearing date has been set, the earliest that
the bill could come before the committee is Jan. 27.
The text of HB 1170 makes it unlawful for any record store to "sell to any
person under the age of 18 years any sound recording bearing the parental
advisory logo imposed by the Recording Industry Association of America
identifying the sound recording as containing strong language or
expressions of violence, sex or substance abuse."
Record companies decide whether or not to affix albums with warning labels
on a voluntary basis. Likely to be hardest hit by the bill if it passes
are hip-hop albums, which are often stickered even when other albums
containing similar levels of violence (for example, Bruce Springsteen's
Ghost of Tom Joad) are not.
In addition, some albums, such as Prodigy's The Fat Of The Land, are available without warnings in some stores, but are stickered in others.
Bill-sponsors were not available for comment at press time. -- Chris Nelson [Wed., Jan. 14, 1998, 9 a.m. PST]