The NH Attorney General called yesterday while my wife and I were browsing at the mall and threatened me with arrest if I perform a manicure without a license.Â Here's Dave's follow-up press release about it:
NH AG's office threatens arrest over manicure
Concord, NH, April 29, 2005 - Seacoast entrepreneur Mike Fisher doesn't look the part of a manicurist - or an outlaw. But he's about to become both.
Invoking the patron saint of civil disobedience, Fisher plans to violate New Hampshire's cosmetology laws - right in front of the officials who enforce them. And representatives of Attorney General Kelly Ayotte have already threatened him with arrest.
Fisher, 23, of Newmarket, says he is so exasperated with state regulations on small businesses that the time has come to simply flout them.
His plan is to show up in front of the New Hampshire Board of Barbering, Cosmetology and Esthetics, a bureaucracy that regulates nail salons. There, he says, he will administer a manicure - for profit - "regardless of what they threaten me with."
After deciding his course of action, Fisher sent the Board a note informing them he would be showing up at their office to break the law they enforce. That triggered a call from the Attorney General's office; one of their investigators informed Fisher police would be present and he would be arrested immediately if he attempted to perform an unlicensed manicure.
Fisher says he got the idea from watching the movie "Gandhi."
"The British government (In India) had salt licensing laws," he says. "You could not make salt without a license. Now we cannot cut nails without a license, and I really don't see the difference."
A computer repairman, Fisher admits that until April he didn't know the first thing about manicuring but has now learned the basics. He points out that anyone who *does* want to work as a manicurist would not be able to stand up to the Board the way he is doing. "They could lose their ability to get a license." he says.
It's the principle of the thing that bothers Fisher and a desire to see a rollback of state restrictions on most industries. "In a free country," he growls "people do not need permission to start a business."
As in most states, it is a misdemeanor in New Hampshire to administer a manicure without a license. An increasing number of other small business activities also require licenses. Fisher believes these simply provide a barrier to entry for young entrepreneurs like himself without effectively protecting the consumer or the public. "Private institutions and competition are more effective protectors of the customer," he adds, "and these are both weakened when government tries to do the job."
Supporters are invited to attend, join the fun and witness Fisher's act of civil disobedience. But you do not have to disobey the law yourself unless you wish to man the tweezers! The event will be on Monday, May 9, at noon, at or near the NH Board of Cosmetology at 2 Industrial Park Drive, Concord, NH 03301.
What: Civil disobedience against "manicure law"
Why: To call attention to state govt. overregulation of small business
How: By delivering a manicure without a license
Where: At or near the enforcing bureacracy: NH Board of Barbering, 2 Industrial Park Drive, Concord, NH 03301
When: Monday, May 9, noon (in the event of extreme weather, call the numbers below for a status report)
Who: Mike Fisher, supporters from NHfree.com, whoever wants to join us. Expected turnout: 10-20
Contact: Mike Fisher, 603-498-7935 Backup: Dave Ridley 603-721-1490