Oklahoma Lawmakers Want to Ban Eyeball Tattoos

A new form of body art has Oklahoma lawmakers working to ban the practice before it moves to the state. It's called eyeball tattooing. Even tattoo shops across the metro don't know what would propel someone to do something like this, but they say it's unneeded legislation. Lawmakers argue that it's a public health issue. Some of these images are graphic.

Tattooing, it's a form of body art that's been around for centuries. But it's only been legal in Oklahoma for a couple years. It could soon be illegal for people to tattoo the white part of the eye known as the sclera.

Senate Republican Whip Cliff Branan said, "Kind of a counter culture trend, the same folks may chose to pierce certain body parts, it's kind of the next level up."

Senate Bill 844 has unanimously passed through the Health and Human Services Committee. Oklahoma City Senator Cliff Branan says it was brought to him by the Oklahoma Academy of Opthamology. He says it's becoming more trendy to tattoo eye liner or eye brows, but this goes too far.

"It is completely patently disgusting and crazy to do it. We as a good public health policy we felt it was important to stop that trend before it goes any farther here in the state of Oklahoma," Sen. Branan described.

Doctors say there's a high risk for blindness. Though the practice is still being seen on the east and west coast, it hasn't moved to the Midwest just yet.

Jason King, the Owner of Atomic Lotus Tattoo in Oklahoma City said, "The number of people with actual eyeball tattoos in the United States you can probably count on one hand, so it's not a common practice."

King says passing this bill is a waste of time.

"If you want to risk your eye sight to look like you've got a black eye all the time, that's a great procedure for you, but sane people don't do dumb stuff like that," King explained. "It's people trying to advance a moral agenda and save us from ourselves when the fact is we're smart enough to save ourselves."

The bill will now move to the senate floor trying to permanently prohibit an extreme form of body modification.

"If we can stop this for one person from doing it we've been successful," Senator Branan added.

"Common sense will keep this horrible thing from happening," King concluded.

There is a small room of error for tattooing like this, and we're talking millimeters. Senator Branan says even doctors with many years of experience don't perform these types of procedures.

If the bill passes through the Senate without any amendments, it will go the House of Representatives, and could go into affect within three weeks.
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