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Eye On Boise

Lawmakers know best

Let’s say a style-conscious Idaho 13-year-old wants to have several piercings in her upper ear as well as her earlobe, and perhaps one in her eyebrow or navel too, and her parents are just fine with the idea. Idaho legislators say no way – that should be a crime.

SB 1281, sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Denton Darrington, R-Declo, would forbid anyone under 14 from getting a tattoo, or having any piercings done anywhere other than the earlobe – even if their parents say they can. The bill also requires parental permission for tattoos and piercings for those aged 14 to 17.

Those who tattooed or pierced children in violation of the law could face misdemeanor charges, a $500 fine and possible jail time.

When Darrington’s committee considered the bill this week, the Idaho ACLU asked senators to drop the under-14 ban out of respect to cultures and religions that value early-age piercings or tattoos, but the senators refused.

The bill is now headed to the full Senate.

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.