Sen. Sobel Caught in Tattoo Snafu
"If this bill passes, within six months one-third of the tattoo studios in Florida will be wiped out," predicts Stevie Moon, who operates a tattoo studio at Federal Highway and NE 26th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. Moon is trying to round up his friends in the industry, starting with this online petition.
Currently, tattoo parlors must be supervised by a physician, who takes responsibility for the shop's safety standards. The artists apply for occupational license either through their municipality or their county. Under the standards of the new bill, aspiring tattoo artists would need written recommendations from at least five professional Florida tattoo artists with at least five years' experience. "You're opening the door for bribery, for extortion," says Moon.
The bill might also mark the end of tattoo conventions -- when tattooists fly in to Florida from around the world, giving tattoo collectors a chance to get ink from an artist they have admired from a distance. "The work he would have to do to get licensed to work at that convention, it's not worth it," says Moon.
Sobel's office did not immediately return calls for comment. This post will be updated when that call comes.