"Government restrictions came in, which literally shut us down," says Paul Smith, who co-owns Red Stag Tattoo in Austin, Texas.
"It's a lot to try and put this stuff all together all on my own, using my own savings, and then having to start all over," says Venus Vegan Tattoo owner Selena Carrion.
The idea is not so far-fetched.
The Public Health Department wants to ban a common tattooing process. Artists say that the concern is unscientific and harmful to clients.
"The tattoo itself, the process of tattooing, and the business of tattooing are forms of pure expression fully protected by the First Amendment."
The new warning would tell customers that tattoos can disqualify them from a military career.
"The act of tattooing is sheltered by the First Amendment."