Gege, a professional tattoo and piercing artist had to say this in answer to my question; "At the shop we won't pierce a baby, but if the child is like 6 and over and the piercer is VERY quick, the child only cries for a minute or two. I pierced my sons ear at home with a needle because I have two set-ups for side jobs. He cried for one minute until he figured out it didn't hurt. I think kids are geared up that it's a needle and it will hurt".
What if you don't have a piercing studio near you? It has been suggested that sometimes even physicians have been known to be skilled in piercing. In fact, some of them will pierce adults as well as children and some women feel more comfortable going to their doctor for more intimate piercings than to a stranger in a piercing shop. Discuss this with your local family doctor. If they don't personally do piercings, there might be one in your area that does.
Unfortunately, not all states allow minors to be pierced, even with parental consent. So, what should a parent do if they are faced with this situation? The best thing you can do is to drive to an area where you can legally pierce them correctly, or simply wait until they are of age. It's sad that it is perfectly OK to bring your children to a department store and have them unsafely pierced, but you can't let them be professionally pierced in a sterile environment. If you're an activist, it might even be prudent to write your local Congress members about this issue. Take a stand and get the gun banned!