City ready to halt tattoos on minors

"If the Port Orchard City Council passes a new ordinance next Monday as expected, tattoo artists will be required to check picture ID before zapping anyone with a needle.The idea is to prevent under-18 customers from getting permanent markings.At the state level, that is already the law. In 1996, legislators passed a measure prohibiting tattoo shops from giving minors tattoos without parental permission. Violations are a misdemeanor punishable by no more than 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.According to city officials, passing the ordinance is a housecleaning matter, because the language of the ordinance references established state law.City Councilman Tom Stansbery, who sponsored the tattoo ordinance, said he wanted to give police another tool to enforce state law. The rub is, if an illegal tattoo happens inside the city limits, the city is liable. Yet, police can’t issue a citation to a negligent tattooist without city code backing them up.“You’d think that any policeman anywhere across the state could write a citation for this,” said city clerk Pat Parks. “But that’s not the case. (Port Orhchard) police for instance, can’t write a ticket unless city code was adopted to back up that citation. Otherwise, it probably wouldn’t hold up in court.”The council will meet at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall. The public can comment on the tattoo ordinance or any other business at that time."

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