HB1437 (2018) Detail

Relative to tattoos on state law enforcement officers.










AN ACT relative to tattoos on state law enforcement officers.


SPONSORS: Rep. Stone, Rock. 1; Rep. Horn, Merr. 2; Rep. Morrison, Rock. 9


COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety






This bill regulates tattoos on state law enforcement officers.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen


AN ACT relative to tattoos on state law enforcement officers.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  New Section; State Law Enforcement Officers; Tattoos.  Amend RSA 106-L by inserting after section 15 the following new section:

106-L:16  State Law Enforcement Officers; Tattoos.

I.  In this section:

(a)  "Extremist tattoos" means tattoos  affiliated with, depicting, or symbolizing extremist philosophies, organizations, or activities.  This includes tattoos that: feature philosophies, groups, or activities that promote racial or gender intolerance; encourage discrimination based on numerous factors, including race, gender, and religion; advocate violence or other unlawful means of depriving individual rights under the United States Constitution, and federal or state law.

(b)  "Tattoos" means permanent markings that are difficult to reverse in terms of financial cost, discomfort, and effectiveness of removal techniques.

(c)  "Sleeve tattoo" means a large tattoo, or a collection of smaller tattoos, that has a unified theme and that covers most or all a person's arm, usually from shoulder to wrist.

(d)  "Indecent tattoo" means a tattoo that is grossly offensive to modesty, decency, propriety, or professionalism.

(e)  "Sexist tattoo" means a tattoo that advocates a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on gender.

(f)  "Racist tattoo" means a tattoo that advocates a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on race, ethnicity, or national origin.

(g)  "State law enforcement entities" means any law enforcement entity of the state of New Hampshire.  This includes, but is not limited to, the New Hampshire state police, New Hampshire fish and game department conservation officers, New Hampshire liquor enforcement, New Hampshire department of corrections, and the New Hampshire marine patrol.  State law enforcement entities shall not include municipal law enforcement entities for the purposes of this section.

II.  Applicants to and members of state law enforcement entities may have sleeve tattoos and one ring tattoo on each hand below the joint of the bottom segment (portion closest to the palm) of the finger.

III.  State law enforcement entities may also permit neck and face tattoos at the sole discretion of the hiring authority.  The hiring authority or supervising authority has the sole discretion in limiting further tattoos.

IV.  The following tattoo brands are prohibited in all circumstances:

(a)  Indecent tattoos.

(b)  Sexist tattoos.

(c)  Gang affiliated tattoos.

(d)  Extremist tattoos.

V.  Exceptions to permit tattoos otherwise prohibited under this section shall only be approved by the attorney general of New Hampshire.  

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.


HB1437 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 10, 2018 House Hearing
Jan. 16, 2018 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
Feb. 7, 2018 House Floor Vote
Feb. 15, 2018 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1437 Revision: 2027 Date: Nov. 3, 2017, 9:58 a.m.


Date Status
Jan. 3, 2018 Introduced 01/03/2018 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety HJ 1 P. 10
Jan. 10, 2018 Public Hearing: 01/10/2018 01:00 PM LOB 204
Jan. 16, 2018 Executive Session: 01/16/2018 LOB 204
Feb. 7, 2018 Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 02/07/2018 (Vote 20-0; CC) HC 5 P. 6
Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 20-0; CC)
Feb. 8, 2018 Removed from Consent (Rep. Stone) 02/08/2018 HJ 3 P. 2
Special Order to 2/15/2018 Without Objection HJ 3 P. 81
Feb. 15, 2018 Inexpedient to Legislate: MA DV 288-36 02/15/2018 HJ 4 P. 27