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Legislator Burke Introduces Legislation to Prevent Illegal Tattooing

Erie County, New York- A local law titled “Preventing Underground Tattoo Parlors” will be submitted to the Erie County Legislature by Legislator Patrick Burke (7th District). Under the current sanitary code, Erie County health inspectors have limited capabilities in preventing unlicensed persons from administering tattoos. Legislator Burke’s new law would change the penalty for those administering tattoos illegally from an unenforceable code violation to a misdemeanor crime 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. 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 allows law enforcement to step in and take immediate action."

Concerns over the proliferation of illegal tattoo shops and the spread of communicable diseases have increased due to the current opioid epidemic which has contributed to the spread of Hepatitis C. Legislator Burke’s initiative is a common sense reform to ensure the health and safety of the residents of Erie County.