Norfolk Lifts Ban on Tattoo Parlors

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The city of Norfolk, Va., has banned tattoo parlors since 1950, prohibiting sailors based there from indulging in the inky body art. But the ban was recently lifted.


The new tattoo technology may have arrived just in time for sailors based in Norfolk, Virginia. The last word on business today: the City of Norfolk has just lifted a decades-long ban on tattoo parlors.

It once had nearly a dozen. Then, in 1950, the city council banned them. Now people in the Navy won't have to ship out for body art, but they'll still need to follow certain rules, as Navy spokesman Lieutenant Junior Grade Carl Leto(ph).

Lt. CARL LETO (U.S. Navy): Any tattoo, body art, brand that is obscene, sexually explicit or advocates discrimination of any sort is strictly prohibited.

MONTAGNE: In other words, taste is key.

The Navy also prohibits tattoos that are visible through the white uniform or located on the head, face or neck. Sailors who break the rules can get discharged, or they can opt to get the tattoo removed.

Maybe with this new tattoo technology, that won't hurt as much.

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

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