Arkansas Passes Bill Limiting Tattoos And Body Piercings


PolicyMic on the latest efforts to restrict what you can do with your body:

Last March, the Arkansas State Senate voted 26 to 4 in favor of SB 387, a bill limiting tattoos, piercings, and other forms of body art that it deemed “untraditional.”

After making several modifications, the State’s House of Representatives has started to coalesce behind a compromise measure that could, plausibly, be sent to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

Because of its vague wording, it’s difficult to construe exactly which procedures would be “limited” or outright banned. While the bill only specifically proscribes dermal implants, its language regarding tattoos is ambiguous enough that some pundits have expressed concern it could be interpreted more broadly.

This measure is flagrantly unconstitutional. The First Amendment clearly prohibits government efforts at “abridging the freedom of speech,” which our courts have repeatedly found includes forms of artistic expression like corporal modification.

  • JudgeNotLestYeBe

    I don’t have any tattoos and don’t like the idea of putting industrial inks in my body, but in honor of Voltaire and his original quote “I may not agree with what you put on your body, but I’ll defend to the death your right to so.”

    • LadyPegasus

      You know ofc that is NOT how the quote goes, right?

  • BuzzCoastin

    kewl, maybe excessive allegiance to Jebus will be next

  • Lyzz

    The Pacemaker has only been around for 55 years. Pearling, gauging, scarification and the like have been around for much longer. Will this non-traditional implant also be banned?

  • Joel Tattooing

    It would be good for tattoo culture to be banished back to the underground so as a working tattooer I am all for this.

    • rhetorics_killer

      Censorship is the best publicity one can enjoy.. these permissive times have come to be boring after all.

    • InfvoCuernos


  • Jin The Ninja

    this new development has dashed my long-held dream to visit AR (at least in the summer).

  • Ittabena

    They have a lot of nerve after all the cocaine that Tyson Chicken/CIA/Mena/Clinton dealt/did there. Oh yeah, shh!

  • Adam’s Shadow

    Next up for the Arkansas State Legislature: outlawing dresses cut above the knee, and long hair on men.

    I live in a pretty conservative part of California, but this… it’s like a whole different world. I have no frame of reference for something like this.

  • InfvoCuernos

    Pray that the things you value will not become popular.

  • JustinW

    Yeah, this isn’t going to meet the sniff test when the first 1st amendment case comes up. They need to spend time on legislating that actually has a valid purpose.