A Tennessee lawmaker is hoping to pass new legislation enforcing stricter tattoo laws throughout the state.
State Representative Antonio Parkinson told Nashville's News 2 the proposed bill will help law enforcement track down illegal tattoo artists.
According to Parkinson, there are illegal tattoo houses throughout communities in the Volunteer State and without regulations these underground entities can cause the spread of disease.
“The problem's been going on for years and I'm glad to hear someone's making a movement towards stricter laws for artist that tattoo minors,” Alli Wilcox of Chrome Halo Tattoo and Piercing said.
Currently in the state of Tennessee, it is illegal for tattoo artists to tattoo anyone under the age of 18.
Wilcox told Nashville's News 2 if the state does pass the proposed law, it would not necessarily mean minors would not travel over state lines to get tattoos.
“They [can] travel from Tennessee to another state and they get tattooed from somebody [who may tattoo] out of their house and these tattoos are not all that pleasing to the parents and not all that attractive,” Wilcox said.
Representative Parkinson said in addition to cracking down on illegal tattoo artists, he also believes the bill would have an effect on gang recruitment and that the key to the bill is that it mirrors child abuse legislation. If tattoos are seen on a minor by teachers, medical personnel or others, they must be reported.
If the new law passes tattooing a minor would be a class E felony.