DC Bureaucrats’ Latest Assault On Freedom: Mandatory 24-Hour “Waiting Period” For Tattoos

By: Kristin Tate
107

The United States is nearly 17 trillion dollars in debt, the national unemployment rate is more than 7%, and one in seven Americans is on food stamps. But fixing those problems is just so darn hard! So several politicians in Washington DC have decided to spend their time creating tattoo regulations.

DC’s Health Department is aggressively pushing to instate a mandatory 24-hour waiting period for all individuals looking to get a tattoo in the District. The waiting period would mandate that “no tattoo artist applies any tattoo to a customer until after twenty-four hours have passed since the customer first requested the tattoo.”


Officials from the Department say the regulation would prevent “serious health risks.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health, Najma Roberts, thinks that the new rules would prevent individuals from making stupid decisions while they are intoxicated.

She said, “They can’t be responsible for themselves, as well as the person doing the work on them. We’re making sure when that decision is made that you’re in the right frame of mind, and you don’t wake up in the morning . . . saying, ‘Oh my God, what happened?’”

Tattoo shop owners, however, say the proposed regulations unfairly target their industry and would hurt business.

Paul Roe, a tattoo parlor owner in DC, said “Why not 24 hours’ waiting time before shaving your head?” The new rules are “honestly ridiculous” he claimed.

Gilda Acosta, a tattoo artist, said, “It would definitely be a direct hit to my income if I couldn’t tattoo people who come in and want work done on the same day.”

Good grief.

America is supposed to be the Land of the Free. If people want to make poor choices regarding their own bodies, they should be allowed to. In a free country, government cannot dictate lifestyle choices, nor can it become the overprotective mommy and daddy of its citizens. Freedom means having the right to make bad choices and then deal with the consequences ourselves.

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Kristin Tate is a multi-media reporter for Breitbart News and BenSwann.com. Dedicated to fearless journalism, she regularly works on undercover stings with James O'Keefe to reveal government waste, abuse, and fraud. Tate was a Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) Chapter President and Founder. She will continue to fight tirelessly for individual liberty and free markets through new media. Visit Kristin's website at www.TheLibertarianChick.com.
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  • supersajin

    One of the few reasons I hate living in DC. We are often treated as non citizens!

    • Kimber_TLE

      If you continue your descension, we will repeal the twenty-third amendment!

      Please, resume the floggings…

    • Mike Yeager

      MOVE – or do you fit in???

      • supersajin

        I LOVE living in DC. With a few exceptions, being a Congress guinea pig is one of them.

        Out side of that it’s the best metro to live in in the US. And I have spent a lot of time in most others.

  • Kimber_TLE

    Tomorrows headlines:

    Democrats Say Like Abortions, Americans Have A Right To Subsidized Tattoo Removal.

    “In order to see what the tattoo looks like you have to first get it,” said Nancy Pelosi. “I’m not trying to pressure my colleagues,” after sending five letters to her colleagues.

  • DCThinks

    So, there is also a 24 hour waiting period on abortions i would assume? Or is ending a life not as important than the perfect tattoo.

    • Kevin Merck

      I heard Planned Parenthood is thinking about how they can provide service using drive-through technology.

      You’ll be able to get the abortion and have your lunch in the same visit.

      It’s all about making abortion a normal part of your daily life. Of course Pepsi would be awarded the soft drink contract because they feature aborted fetal tissue in their line of products.

    • Dasher11

      What an idiotic comment. You’re required to wait several days from your first consult before you can actually get an abortion done. Blood tests, ultrasounds, and often counseling is required.

      • DCThinks

        I was just asking as there is no waiting period here. You can just show up and “get in line” so to speak. Actually it’s usually a few hours in the waiting room.

        The same logic applies, In both cases it is your body. I would argue that a life is more important though.

        And although I personally would be against aborting a child of mine, That is my choice and it may not be yours.

  • MADT

    Don’t drink and ink.

  • PanVsPan

    It’s already illegal to tattoo someone who is visibly intoxicated, and health regulations have made instances of infection or adverse reaction to tattooing almost non existent. So DC’s whole argument is lies.
    This could force tattooing underground to homes and basements. To lesser qualified tattooers, in un-sterile environments. What a crock.

    • TK

      Well said! Hittin’ the nail on the head right there

    • Kevin Merck

      OH NO, not “back ally tattoo parlors”.
      That argument sounds like an abortion argument.
      Tattoos are the individual’s choice.
      Abortion is murder and threatening “back ally abortions” if it’s made illegal is terrorism.

  • ISM1978

    The opening paragraph is completely misleading. The idiots responsible for this rule are completely diferent idiots than the ones that can’t fix the economy. That kind of teaser is a halmark of main stream media. I am disapoint!

    • Dawn

      This particular journalist has a little trouble with a few things… I’m not a fan so far.
      But overall Ben Swann’s new venture seems to be doing well, so don’t count them out based on one journalist :)
      Hopefully they’ll work out bugs as it progresses
      …and maybe get rid of journalists who struggle with things like facts or what defines liberty.

      • Ken D.

        KT is my favorite journalist here and understands and fights for liberty more passionately than any other. Just MHO.

  • Dan

    You guys(DC Residents) all deserve this. You voted for these people or didn’t vote(same thing imo). Reap what you sow

    • FluorideProof

      They are all gang bangers, and lunatics. What do you expect?

    • ThreeAndNine

      Nobody voted for the people behind this. Have you ever seen people running for Health Department positions on any ballot?

  • antattoos

    If this is the next step in regulation I feel that all voters should have psychiatric evaluations… What frame of mind should a voter decision need? This is crap! Some people don’t need to be intoxicated to make bad decisions… As evident by these clowns in office!

    • FluorideProof

      The elected officials should have phycreatic evaluations.

      • timothyprice

        They should be tattood …

  • Joseph Odonnell

    That i nuts

  • Dylan

    Slowly but surely taking your rights away. This is insanity

    • FluorideProof

      No it’s democracy…

      • stephen

        same thing

  • Angel

    Any tattoo artist worth going to is not going to tattoo someone who is intoxicated. This is stupid, trivial, and a waste of government time and money. I hope everyone in DC writes to their elected official to tell them what they honestly think of this proposal and to vote against it.

  • Paul E. Brown

    Are you fn kidding me? How in bloody hell will they enforce this crap? Just cuz there’s a law, that doesn’t mean that it will be enforceable….

  • disqus_IK4JLhzYdo

    People have the right to be dumb and irresponsible with their bodies if they choose, as long as they dont hurt someone else. Today they’re getting better and better at removing unwanted tattoos anyway. The government was not formed to be our babysitters! Washington needs to get that out of their heads and fast!

  • PieMan

    Government knows best……my ass!!!

  • Ben

    If this was to truly to target intoxicated clients, they would have made a mandatory breathalyzer law…

    • 豐 Piotrek Nowacki 豐

      Ye, why don’t tattoo shops just get a breathalyzer for the drunks and that would be it.

      • mike

        Because, as a free citizen of the planet Earth it is no one’s business if you want to get loaded and go get a stupid tattoo. It is another example of a busy body that thinks they know better than the rest of us. People like that are not worth our time.

  • GRusling

    Washington DC – Dumb and Dumber…

  • dragon

    OK so let them make bad decisions and suffer the consequences. Let the government say that if you have the money to pay for a tattoo, then you have the money to buy food without food stamps. Seriously. Tattoos are expensive and if you have no food you should not be wasting money on non essentials and then taking money from tax payers so you can eat. RIDICULOUS.

    • Heather Caruso

      What the hell are you talking about ? Just because someone has tattoos doesn’t mean they are on food stamps ! One thing doesn’t have jack do to with the other ! The only common thread this story shares is that once again the government is sticking their dicks in things that aren’t important and letting the other stuff slide. You wanna get rid of so many people on food stamps , start drug testing all those people before we give them help !That I can stand behind !

      • Guest

        I have several tattoos, and I have NEVER been on food stamps. Even if I was to go on food stamps now, the tattoos occurred at a time I could afford them. Tattoos are for life, and circumstances change over time. My youngest tattoo is over 10 years old, can you honestly say that you have never had any problems during the last 10 years, or that you will not have problems in the future because I certainly cannot say that!

  • Norm

    Those morons cant get what they want so they have to keep trying other ways to piss the U.S citizens off. Worry about bigger problems first!

  • me

    i think it would be ok if they were using that 24 hours to make sure the person requesting the tattoo wasnt receiving welfare or owe child support.

    • EGR

      do you really want someone else approving every purchase you want to make?? how else do you expect people to learn from their mistakes if their not allowed to make any?

      • me

        do you really want to pay for someone who has made recieving welfare their career? what about serial deadbeat parents that have never paid their support? or will pay just enough occasionally to keep themselves out of jail? the national debt wouldnt be so bad if they started requiring this kind of approval for certain purchases. its no more or any different than having a credit check done to get approved for other big purchases.

        • uranassclown

          how does some douch-canoe deadbeat getting a tattoo affect the national debt?

          • me

            who do you think is picking up the slack of that “douche-canoe deadbeat” in a lot of cases?

  • Rosemarie Frida Donarsdottir

    this is just DC blowing smoke up the public’s ass to keep focus away from that jackass leading this country into world war 3….all I can say is…F*** YOU

  • Sparky the Spazz

    I think if the concern is about”Drunk Decisions”, if the business decides that a patron is intoxicated, instead of losing the revenue, offer a Henna Option, at a fair price, and if when they wake up and still want it, the pattern is already there for the Artist to finish.
    Extra Revenue for the Shop, and No Risk of Unhappy Customers……
    Although, I do believe Lawmakers should really have a Different Procedure Done…..But that’s a different topic.

    • Grandma Spice

      Henna? Excellent idea.

  • Jonathan Schreiber

    This is just ridiculous, there are much more pressing issues at hand to be wasting even a second on garbage legislation like this. What’s next? Are they going to make you wait 24 hours to purchase cheese cake at your favorite restaurant because you might be unhappy all those calories went into your ass the next day?! Pardon my strong language please, because seriously, were teetering on what could be the catalyst for WWIII and this is what our politicians are worrying about??? It’s like our government has become an episode of MAD TV being run by a bunch of Fire Marshal Bills’… LEMME TELL YA SOMETHIN! I mean I understand people make poor decisions when they’re intoxicated sometimes, but unless it has to do with an issue that could possibly endanger themselves or another person lawmakers have no business sticking their moronic noses anywhere near there.

  • Randy McGravey

    where are the sources for this article? It’s very biased and shows no facts

    • barkallnight

      Welcome to benswann.com formally a respectable journalist. Now just a hack with reporters that don’t know what journalism is.

      • ST

        BenSwann.com needs articles like this to attract younger readers. Want boring wonkish stories with no readers? Im sure Ben doesn’t. This story was great. Woop woop!

        • barkallnight

          I thought the idea was to break down the left, right paradigm. This is a story that is better suited for vice.com. Besides your idea that stories about tattoos attracts younger viewers is insulting. This isn’t 1995.

    • Ken D.

      This interesting article is about American culture, not legislation or policy. Opinionated? Yes. Biased? Give me a break. These types of articles keep BenSwann.com fresh and fun, otherwise we’d have a well-researched, academic site with no readers. KEEP THESE TYPES OF STORIES COMING, BEN! Love it!

  • Justin Tessier

    There is nothing free about the United States

  • Matt

    This is by the CITY health department, not a federally mandated waiting period for the whole country. Just thought I’d point that out. Its not really clear in the article above. As such, all of the statistics on debt, unemployment, etc, are basically irrelevant since its a completely different set of politicians. That said, its a ridiculous rule.

  • illustratedman

    I know many of the tattoo artists in my area and i can say the minority will not tattoo a spontaneous drunk person. It’s unethical and can pose risks to the persons body I.e. excessive bleeding. These artists care about the work they put on their clients. This law is complete garbage and stereotypes tattoo artist negatively.

  • illustratedman

    *majority

  • tinman33
  • CommonSenseBeforeEverything

    in other news, home tattoo kit sales skyrocketed today…

  • jharp105

    they are trying to save you from yourselves! you will probably change your mind after 24 hours anyway and thank the government for making you wait!

    • colram

      What else will you allow them to “save you from”? A Big Mac? Roller blading? Repairing your own roof? Men with heart conditions can die during sex…maybe castration will help?

      • Muddstorm

        Good choice of words…castration is what they excel at in regard to our rights.

      • jharp105

        It really is not a big deal to wait 24 hours. The reason is to prevent drunk and high people from making an expensive and permanent (relatively) mistake. It’s called cool down time. The same reason you have to wait to purchase a handgun, so that you don’t do something stupid in the heat of the moment.

        • freakmachine

          It is a big deal. You’re now depriving the choice of being spontaneous and “living in the moment”. If you wake up with a shitty tat, you now have a reminder like a scar when you wrecked on your bike. If it’s totally ridiculous and your friends didn’t stop you, then they are shitty friends. Maybe waking up with a tattoo will open whoever’s eye’s and that person is a good example of why not to do it. There’s bigger problems in this country and hurting entrepreneur’s small businesses is only hurting us more. Spending tax dollars should be used towards a future investment, not someone’s drunken regret.

        • Full Sleeves

          You do realize there are NO legitimate tattoo artists who will tattoo a drunk or high person, right? This is well-established practice in the industry. They’re trying to regulate a problem that doesn’t exist. Saying it is for health reasons is ridiculous because that’s a separate issue to whether the client is drunk. A shitty illegal tattooist who will work on a drunk client may also be more likely to not have good hygiene standards, but again, there are already laws in place about this.

          There is zero reason for this new law, except trying to make it the government’s business to judge whether you’re being dumb or not in getting a tattoo. Last I heard, being dumb was not illegal, and 90% of the people in this country and 100% of the politicians should be grateful for that.

      • faceinthecrowd1

        We’ll all be ‘saved from ourselves’ on many fronts before this is over – Obamacare will force everyone to pay for health insurance, and very few will be willing to pay for even perceived ‘risky’ behavior of others. (Yes I know – Obamacare isn’t ‘socialized medicine’…yet…wait ’til Hillary is prez and it will be)

        Under that light, it’s easy to see where certain activities will be legislated against. For now it’s tatoos, next will be scuba diving, riding motorcycles, etc.

    • Erik Swenson

      I hope jharp105 is trying to be funny.

  • disqus_PA9pnuUAmw

    Just another way to gain control a little at a time until they control all.

  • fuckstick

    Remember when you had to be responsible for your actions? I think the dipshits that get a tattoo when they are plastered deserve to have that reminder. Maybe keep them from doing something that stupid again?

  • Baja Artists

    This is called profiling, period.

  • Jeremy Chavis

    pure fuckery

  • Shawn Cook

    I don’t know about DC, but where I live any self-respecting tattoo artist won’t put ink down if you are intoxicated.

  • Steven Gaylord

    Tell this to the home boys in the pen.

  • JustSaying

    This is merely another form of control over people. They take a little at a time. A little this from your freedom and a little of that from your freedoms. Before you know it you will not have any freedom but be a slave. It is also a distraction from what is going on in the world. The War that is about to break loose if Obama decides to bomb (which he will do with or without Congress’s approval, or he will cause a false fake and than do the bombing) Also another means of getting the Obamacare passed. Please go to http://www.dontfundit.com and let your voice be heard. Thanks!!

  • Doug

    Why not open “Planned Parenthood Tatoos and abortions” I’m sure they wouldn’t dare insist on a waiting period then…unless you had to declare whether you were there for an abortion or a tattoo. You would have to wait 24 hours for the tattoo but not the abortion…Clearly the tattoo is a choice that needs more reflection..

  • Percie

    “You can’t make this up”!

  • die

    wow maybe the people who are trying to regulate tattoos should go to a shop intoxicated and see if they can manage getting tattooed… NOBODY IS GOING TO TATTOO SOMEONE INTOXICATED… stupid assholes. there goes all walk in sales… are they at least getting a tax break for cutting business in half?

  • CMBTJA

    Since when does the government care about preventing health risks???

    • faceinthecrowd1

      Ever since the government passed legislation that forces everyone to pay for healthcare.
      Potentially foolish/risky behavior that the rest of us will be forced to pay for will be legislated against…we don’t want our healthcare costs increased above what they already are.

      Go back to your legislators and encourage them to defund the ACA, or be ready for more regulation on what you can/cannot do to yourself.

  • Vajoyna

    DO NOT COMPLY!

  • dinkster

    I think these clowns have watched too many movies.

  • James

    WILL NOT COMPLY! KISS MY A**!

  • faceinthecrowd1

    This is outrageous, but not unexpected -

    Potentially foolish/risky behavior that everyone will be forced to pay for will be legislated against…no one wants healthcare costs increased above what they already are, and especially not for something that could be considered ‘risky’ (like getting inked).

    Go back to your legislators and encourage them to defund the ACA, or be ready for more regulation on what you can/cannot do to yourself.

    • April L. Edwards

      Please read this and learn somethinghttp://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2012/mar/21/health-care-fact-checking/

  • flystraight

    You guys keep voting democrats into office. You’ll keep getting the same.

    • Josh Christian

      Oh yeah… those stinking Democrats are so much worse than those friendly Republicans… keep voting folks, your head isn’t really up your ass…

    • Ricky Ross

      Scary that people still think that there is a difference between the two parties! If somebody believes that there is a dime’s worth of difference in the 2 parties, yep, they are still a sheeple!

      The Communist Takeover Of America – 45 Declared Goals

      Communist Goals – Congressional Record – Appendix, pp. A34-A35 January 10, 1963

      (as read before Congress in 1963)

      #15) Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

      • Chuck Jellison

        like it matters dem or rep neither one gives a shit about our best interest

  • George Washington

    Hey Najma Roberts…. what happens if we feel we are big, dumb and ugly enough to decide for ourselves

  • ArchangelOKC

    Oh yeah, this really makes sense. I mean, it’s not like one can’t drive 20 minutes in any direction and get a tat done in Virginia or Maryland. Stupid assholes. My body, my freakin’ choice. If want to put ink on it, you can kiss my ass.

  • Tired of Lazy Americans

    If you’re over 18, you’re told enough and ugly enough to be stupid enough and get a tattoo. Fire Congress or at very least pay them minimum wage and take away their healthcare.

  • greenfloor

    No where they mention that it is illegal to tattoo someone who is intoxicated. its a rule thats already inforced.

  • lady DeBrito

    They need to make a law that says dumb congress members can no longer make laws..that’s freaken ridiculous.. I can choose a stupid tat and not be drunk.. ie:I got my x’s initials on my shoulder than got a beautiful lotus to cover it.. I love my ink artist .. he warned me and I refused to listen and I was completely sober..

  • Karen

    cause regretting a tattoo is worst than an unwanted child … Hysterical. Why dont we just give congressmen are $$ to burn? At least we’d all get a beautiful show out of it.

  • Matt

    This article is terribly misleading. How are DC city bureaucrats are responsible for “17 trillion dollars in debt, the national unemployment rate is more than 7%, and one in seven Americans is on food stamps”? This is a local issue, yet in the first and final paragraphs you slyly mislead that this is some proposed national regulation.

    The city health department is responsible for regulating tattoo parlors. Yes, this is a dumb proposal that reeks of nanny-statism, but it’s not like these officials are the ones responsible for paying down the national debt instead. Nor will a regulation covering 68.3 square miles make America unworthy of the title “Land of the Free”.

    We’ve come to expect annoying regulations in our cities. But unless there’s some tattoo-tourist industry I’m unaware of, this won’t affect the grand majority of the people you are trying to make outraged. And the ones that are affected live really close to two states without this regulation.

    Be honest with your readers and educate them. They deserve better than to be just given something to get outraged about for the sake of page-hits.

    • Ron

      I don’t think she meant, neither implicitly nor explicitly, that DC bureaucrats are responsible for these issues. She brings up these big issues as a contrast to the issue of tattoo policing; she is saying that the bureaucrats have far bigger fish to fry than tattoo regulations.

  • Tattoo Studio

    this would only shut down legal tattoo studios and open the doors wide for people doing them out of their houses and causes all kinds a Hep and Staph infection and they worry about having a tattoo some would regret , bawahahaha

  • Donnie Brasco

    I bet one of them got a Ron Paul tattoo or something crazy like that and now they’ve decided collectively it should be illegal to have a tramp stamp rEVOLution.

  • TexasBirdGirl

    But you don’t have to wait 5 minutes to kill your child—hypocrites!!

  • Nikita Lowery

    She’s just mad she probably got a damn ass tat one drunken night and woke up saying “OMG, what have I done!” Don’t punish others for the stupid mistake you or someone you know made…smdh

  • Suck it Feds

    Heres a plan, how about we find a way for people to be protected from voting for dumbass politicians?

  • Shauna

    While they’re at it they’d better shut down
    fast food joints that serve after midnight, or OTC headache medicine
    sales before noon. If you’re going to punish one industry for the
    choices of an individual why not punish them all?

  • austinmiles

    For the record, the DC municipality has nothing to do with the nations debt, or policies. Its just the city where the nations politicians do business. Its a totally stupid idea, but it certainly isn’t “not solving the nations problems”

    • Element Omega

      True, but why should ANY government be wasting ANYONE’s money on something this stupid?