New law to require Australians to register tattoos
By Janine Griffiths
A law has been proposed in New South Wales, Australia which requires those with tattoos to register their tattoos to the state government.
The law is being justified as a way to crack down on biker gangs in the country but includes owners of tattoo parlours and even those with tattoos in New South Wales to submit detailed information about their personal associations and criminal histories, regardless of whether they have committed a crime or not.
In Queensland, similar laws are being proposed. Gold Coast MP Ray Stevens claimed that biker gangs were using tattoo parlours as a front to launder their ill-gotten gains, and a tattoo register would stop them using fake names and inflated tattoo prices to do this.
Police claim that at least one-in-four tattoo parlors across Australia are affiliated with outlaw motorcycle clubs such as the Hells Angels, the Gypsy Jokers and the Finks.
At least that is what is being claimed. In effect, the law is being billed as a way to “protect” citizens, by essentially requiring a person to obtain permission before getting tattoos. In Queensland, gang members are banned from owning, operating or working in tattoo parlors.
Although the law in question specifically names tattoo parlours – the interpretation of that law has the scope to include those who get tattoos at unregistered parlours.
However, last year, plans to require all citizens to register their tattoos regardless of where they get them done were put on the table. Although that is yet to go through, the anti-biker legislation currently in place, could effectively lump those with tattoos in the same category as ‘gangs and criminals’.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman told Parliament: “This is not some flash in the pan or momentary phase. We are going to hunt you down. Take off your colors, get a real job, act like decent, law-abiding human beings and become proper citizens in the state of Queensland and you will not have to go to jail.”
When it comes to private citizens registering their tattoos, little has been said about how the authorities intend to ensure that all tattoos are registered.