Lawmaker's bill calls for stricter laws on extreme form of body art

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Thursday{}one lawmaker stepped into the world of body art with a bill that calls for more regulation. The proposed legislation would ban one procedure that one senator says is dangerous to not only patients but communities. But one artist says the bill is contradictory and{}vague.

"It's not in their nature to really have an artistic background so this should definitely be left in the hands of artists," said Dustin Jackson, owner and operator of Anchor Tattoo and Piercing in Bryant.

This the advice Jackson had about a bill presented{}Thursday that would make scarification illegal in Arkansas. The procedure{}currently has no regulation as it is only recently become mainstream.{}It involves scratching or burning the skin leaving a permanent mark.

"The technique that's used for scarification it's problematic in the places and the areas that it's being performed," said Senator Missy Irvin, of District 10.

Senator Irvin argued that scarification is a major procedure that a tattoo artist is not qualified to perform for sanitary reasons.

"You're really going a different direction this isn't just applying tattoos," said Sen. Irvin.

But Jackson argues that the contradicts itself in that it does not ban tattoos when scarification is essentially the same thing.

"Scarification is no different than a tattoo being the only difference is that pigment is introduced into the tattoo," said Jackson.

But Irvin says it's also the history of scarification that she feels justifies banning it.

"One of the students at my college was from an African tribe and hearing her stories about female circumcision was pretty harrowing,"

Jackson says he's{}offended that Sen. Irvin would make such a comparison.

"All those things are not comparable to art those are rites of passage and it's pretty derogatory toward our profession," said Jackson.

Jackson says ultimately, if passed, it will do more harm than good.

"The ramifications for that are that people out of their home will choose to do this and make it much more dangerous," said Jackson.

The bill passed in the Senate today and now will have to be approved by the House.

COMPLETE COVERAGELawmaker's bill calls for stricter law on extreme forms of body art (March 1)Ark. Senate votes to restrict body art procedures (March 5)Ark. House panel OKs tattoo restrictions (March 21)Lawmakers and artists reach compromise on extreme body art bill (March 21)