Bill to Ban Certain Tattoos, Body Piercings Passes Senate

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The Arkansas Senate passed a bill to ban tattoos, piercings and other similar body modifications which it characterizes as “non-traditional,” recently.

Senator Missy Irvin of Mountain View, Arkansas sponsored the bill entitled ”An Act To Limit Body Art Procedures”. She says that body modifications should be limited to “traditional” tattoos and piercings. Her proposal was to essentially ban scarification procedures and dermal implants, as well as certain tattoos which remain yet to be defined as by the vague language of the bill she sponsored.

Almost unbelievably, this bill passed by a 26-4 vote. Following this, the bill was sent to the House, where it took on even more vague language. See the link above for the bill as it was eventually “compromised” on in the House. The scarification ban from the Senate version was removed, while considerable ambiguous language remained.


The House “compromise” bans dermal implants unless performed by a doctor. This essentially, and in practice, outlaws the body modification. As well, the bill’s vague, undefined language – even in the edited, House version – while editing out some of the original language on tattoos, fails to define a number of important issues raised by the Senate version, including what they mean by “cosmetic” tattoos as opposed to “non-cosmetic” tattoos.

If the government dictating what you can and can’t do with your body bothers you, SPREAD THE WORD!

(Article by Micah Naziri, image Sandy TrueBodyArt)

Original source:


    • YES! Thank you!! Jared, the point he is making isn’t about what is visible or in the open. It’s that the government feels it can step in and decide we can’t choose to alter OUR OWN BODY but still allows parents and doctors to amputate a functioning part of a baby’s penis just because it’s ‘tradition’.

    • An adult deciding to “mutilate” their own body (as in this article) is completely different from someone else deciding to cute a baby’s foreskin off. In the former (which should be legal) the person is making their own decision. In the latter, the person has no say in the matter (and it should be illegal).

  1. Hmm from reading the bill, the only banned practice is the insertion of subdermal implants.

    The bill establishes the difference between tattoo and permanent makeup (which is applied the same way but has the purpose of looking like eye liner, marcara, lip gloss, or covering a scar), and body piercing from earlobe piercing. But then it doesn’t do anything with those definitions.

    Not as wide as the article makes it think, still stupid sounding unless there are health reasons such as controlling the quality of materials and the risk for complications from dermal implants.

  2. from what i can read. the only thing now illegal is dermals. unless put in by a licensed doctor. i don’t want the government telling me what to do as much as the next person. buti run in a crowd where those are popular and every crackpot shop on the street is putting them in and theyre just to new to know the health risks. so not too mad about this but maybe it should be more researched. and part of an original piercing permit

  3. The provision is not even regarding dermal piercings or piercings or tattoos. It is a provision on SUB-dermal implants. Those are the procedures that put an object 100% under the skin – no jewelry on the outside at all. Like when people want to look like they have little horns, or bumps over their eyebrows, or a design that looks raised up under their skin,or whatever. They implant an object under the skin and then it heals over the implant. So anyway, it is more like a mini-surgery. I have a good number of of tattoos and piercings and have had dermals in the past but have never looked into subdermal implants – I am assuming they are more dangerous – so it looks like they are just regulating the safety. Kind of like how you can’t get liposuction at a medial spa anymore; it has to be done by a doctor. So not sure if this is a restriction on personal choice on what you do with your body vs. truly a health risk regulation.

  4. I’ll be getting a dismal implant now just to spite the gov. IDK what yet but is not going to be for looks but maybe an emergency tool(glass breaker in elbow or, universal key for cuffs behind the hand) never wanted one before but I’ll die before I become a slave to the gov.

  5. I don’t see any outright bans or even vague language hinting at bans other than sub-dermal implants. As Meika Danielle pointed out, sub-dermals are not exactly simple affairs. The rest is expansion and clarification of definitions of licensing regulations which are already enacted under chapter 15 of AR Public Health code. If that language was in previous incarnations of this bill but are not in the final text (and it does not appear to be) then that means that the legislature is doing its job. That being the case, the title of this article seems a bit misleading and the tone unnecessarily demagogic.

  6. Jared and John, circumcision was originally performed for medical purposes as a means to avoid bacterial infection. It was not until later that the Jewish people began to assign religious significance to it. In fact, most modern doctors perform circumcisions on newborns as a default health procedure. Please do your research before making such allegations.

  7. John Marshall,
    Why does it matter what the original intended purpose of circumcision was? It’s a ridiculous procedure that defies human nature! What’s even more ridiculous is that circumcision can be done at ANY time, not just during infant-hood, yet parents still choose to make the decision for their children based on their own selfish preferences. Furthermore, regarding bacterial infection– bacterial infection is most common in undeveloped countries and/or continents (i.e. Africa) and can be most correlated with the impoverishment of the location. Most men in England, for example, are not circumcised and bacterial infection is no-where near as common; however, many people suffer from multiple infections/diseases in Africa because they do not have the resources or know-how to protect themselves; this has nothing to do with circumcision or religious belief, just poverty and lack of education. Please don’t be so condescending when you have an opinion about something–it doesn’t help anyone learn, and it doesn’t make you look any smarter.

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