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The District may be giving New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s nanny state a run for its money with its latest tattoo and piercing policies.

The Department of Health posted proposed regulations Friday for tattoos and body piercings in the District. Tucked on page 11 of the 66-page document is a draconian idea (at least in the stereotypically spontaneous world of body art) that would require a 24-hour waiting period between the time a customer requests a tattoo or piercing and when they can actually get it.

If passed, this would rank the District’s body art regulations among the strictest in the nation.

The regulations would also prohibit minors under 18 from getting any sort of body art, except ear piercings. But even if minors want to get their ears pierced, they’d have to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at the time of the piercing. Minors would be prohibited from even setting foot on the premises of a body art establishment unaccompanied.

So has a proliferation of drunken Washingtonians getting offensive tattoos and piercings on a whim necessitated these new laws? Or is D.C. just going Puritan? No idea, and officials at the Department of Health haven’t yet answered calls for comment. Maybe they’re all out getting inked up before the rules take effect.

The department is taking comments from the public for the next 30 days. To submit one, contact Angli Black at (202) 442-5977 or Angli.Black@dc.gov, or mail them to Office of the General Counsel, Department of Health, 899 North Capitol St. NE, Room 547, Washington, D.C. 20002.

Photo by Matt Dunn