Tattoo Tabernacle Says it Will Defy Panama City Rules on Body Art

A church says it will defy Panama City's rules on body art.

David Spears is the leader of the Tattoo Tabernacle. He told city commissioners that the city ordinance violates his members' constitutional rights to practice its ritual of sacred skin.

Commissioners nevertheless passed the ordinance. It prohibits body piercing establishments or tattoo parlors from locating within one-thousand feet of schools, churches, parks and each other.

The law also bans stand-alone signs but they can be affixed to buildings.

Establishments that practice only permanent makeup and ear piercing are exempt from the ordinance.

Spears says his group won't comply with the ordinance but will accept the $500 fine.