Health Department Holds Off On Enforcing Guidelines For Tattoo Artists

The OSDH is holding off on telling tattoo artists and body piercers that they can't be more than 1,000 feet from a school, church, or playground.

Thursday, September 28th 2023, 4:55 pm



Tattoo artists recently received an email from the State Health Department saying they are holding off on enforcing guidelines on where tattoo parlors can operate. This comes months after tattoo artists received a notice from the department notifying them of these guidelines.

The OSDH is holding off on telling tattoo artists and body piercers that they can't be more than 1,000 feet from a school, church, or playground. Tattoo artist Chris Beardsley said artists are coming together and working on getting something more permanent in writing.

“The Oklahoma Body Arts Alliance was formed essentially as soon as we received that initial notice,” Beardsley said.

Beardsley said he got an email in June saying artists are required to have a surety bond and that they're regulating where artists can operate.

“We were all kind of shocked and surprised,” Beardsley said.

Beardsley said it caught him and other artists off guard because court filings show the judge found the rules to be unconstitutional. Recently, the group was able to voice their concerns to the State Health Department.

“It was really productive, it was encouraging. From what I understand, it's the first of its kind in the 16 years that tattooing has been legal here,” Beardsley said.

After the meeting, Beardsley said he understands the state's reasoning for sending out the notice.

“For whatever reason it was not removed from the law. It's their responsibility to enforce the law,” Beardsley said.

OSDH sent out this email following the meeting saying their plan to enforce these rules is on pause, but Beardsley said more work needs to be done.

“We do have a political research committee that's part of this organization that has done a lot of work in establishing communication and gathering information,” Beardsley said.

The Oklahoma Body Arts Alliance is talking to lawmakers. Beardsley said the goal is to get this law removed again.

“That's the goal moving forward and that's what we're working towards,” Beardsley said.

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