Redress of Unconstitutional South Carolina Tattooing Laws sign now

To the State Representatives of the South Carolina General Assembly and Governor Mark Sanford,

We, the Citizens of South Carolina and Other States of Our Great United States of America,
Do hereby notify you of our requirement that you amend CHAPTER 34 Tattooing Section 44-34-10 to respect and adhere to United States Constitutional Law.

CHAPTER 34 Tattooing Section 44-34-10 is in clear violation in several areas;

1) " A tattoo artist must verify by means of a picture identification that a recipient is at least twenty-one years of age or, if the person is at least eighteen years of age, has parental consent.

Our Constitution emancipates its citizens at the age of eighteen. They become legal adults. They can vote, enlist in the military, and have the rights and responsibilities of adults at that stage. While in no way attempting to undermine the value of family and parental guidance, it must be pointed out that a parent has no legal rights or responsibilities for their children once they reach adulthood. It is ridiculous, outrageous, and illegal to require someone who has legally reached the age of adulthood to deemancipate themselves and force them to make their parents their legal guardians due to no more than a blood relationship in order to enjoy that freedom to live their own lives as adults.

We have active duty military personnel who are legal adults, serving their country, coming home on leave to their spouse and families and unable to make their own decision on whether or not to get a tattoo without their parents legal written consent!

2) "It is unlawful for a tattoo artist to tattoo any part of the head, face, or neck of another person.

While it may not be prudent, wise, or socially acceptable on a wide spread scale, to tattoo our heads, necks, or faces, our bodies are our own. Our Constitution protects us as a people, and as individuals. It does not enforce the wishes, fears, and prejudices of the majority, but protects the rights of its individual citizens.

The First Amendment states,

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution"

Tattoos and how we express ourselves with them clearly fall under the protections of both Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech.

3) "The department (DHEC - Department of Health and Environmental Control) must not grant or issue a license to a tattoo facility, if the place of business is within one thousand feet of a church, school, or playground."

America is a nation of capitalists. It is a nation of diversity. As much as we, as individuals, might fear those we perceive to be different from us, that does not give us any legal right to prohibit them from setting up a business or residence within proximity to us just upon the fear and prejudices we might hold that these new establishments or residents might be a negative influence. The fair housing laws dealt with this ad nauseum concerning race and property values. This falls under many of the same prejudices that created racial profiling.

Imagine how ballistic a religious institution would be if told they could not, by law, worship in the manner they saw fit, within a certain distance of a particular type of business, park, place of education, or residential area.

4) A tattoo facility may only provide tattooing and may not engage in any other retail business including, but not limited to, the sale of goods or performing any form of body piercing other than tattooing.

This is a clear attempt to make the practice of tattooing as unlucrative as possible. If the many requirements set down by DHEC are adhered to, there is no additional risk whatsoever from having trained, certified body piercers operating out of the same facility. What risk does selling T-shirts, decals, body jewelry, books, snacks, or other general merchandise, outside of the actual tattooing stations or piercing stations, create for anyone? Tattoo Parlors throughout North Carolina and most of the United States combine the two with literally no ill effects when proper infection control procedures are followed.

Our Constitution clearly calls for the separation of Church and State. It provides for Freedom from Religion, as well as Freedom of Religion. We do not have a national or state religion in the United States or in South Carolina.

We reject this attempt to impinge upon our Constitutional rights and force someone else's chosen version of morality upon us.

We reject this attempt to use illegal and unconstitutional laws to take away our rights to assemble peaceably for the sake of business or fellowship, on private property, breaking none of the real laws and harming no one, expressing ourselves as individuals and adults as we see fit.

People who chose to give and receive tattoos, body piercings, and other body modifications, come from all walks of life, all colors, creeds, races, religions, and levels of education. We are no longer the stereo-typical ex-convicts, prostitutes, drunken sailors, outlaw bikers, skinhead racists, drug addicts, and inner-city gang members that Hollywood and the Moral Majority would portray us as. (However, they, as adults in a free country, have a right to get tattooed too, as long as the drunken sailors and drug addicts wait until they can come back when they are clean and sober!) We are mainstream Americans!

As concerned citizens, voters, and business people, we have many avenues of change that can be pursued. The American Civil Liberties Union sued the State of Illinois to change the legal age for tattooing from twenty one to eighteen and won. It can happen again. We can seek correction from our elected officials. We can actively campaign to replace any elected officials who feel they are above the law and no longer represent not only the wishes and desires of their more wealthy, vocal, and powerful constituents, but of all South Carolinians, and all of those who value the US Constitution and the freedoms and securities it provides for us individually and collectively.

We ask you, the elected representatives of the voters of South Carolina, to address and correct the four areas brought forth above until they are within the boundaries created by United States Constitutional Law.

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    All SC. is doing is trying to take away the freedoms that others like myself fight to protect! State NC.
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Flossie McknightBy:
Petition target:
The South Carolina General Assembly and Governor Mark Sanford,


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