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Illegal tattooing law aims to decrease the spread of diseases

Posted at 10:13 AM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-20 18:55:46-05

Legislator Patrick Burke is submitting a new local law that would make it easier to prevent illegal tattooing in Erie County.

"Preventing Underground Tattoo Parlors" would increase the punishment for anyone administering tattoos illegally. Currently, Erie County health inspectors have limited abilities in preventing unlicensed tattoo artists from administering tattoos. The new code violation would be punishable by a $500 fine and/or one month in prison.

"Currently, a health inspector has to see a tattoo being administered illegally in order to take action, which is nearly impossible," said Legislator Burke. "These underground tattoo parlors have no oversight and are more likely to spread dangerous diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV. Making this a misdemeanor crime allow law enforcement to step in and take immediate action."

Concerns of illegal tattoo shops and the spread of diseases has increased because of the current opioid epidemic which has contributed to the spread of Hepatitis C.