Tattoo parlors to be regulated

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Franklin Ward is about to get regulated by the Richmond County Board of Health, and he is "completely excited" about it.

Kenny McGee, the co-owner of Aces and Eights Tattoo & Piercings in Augusta, holds up a shader needle that he uses for tattooing. The Richmond County Board of Health is considering an ordinance that would regulate the practices of tattoo parlors.   Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Kenny McGee, the co-owner of Aces and Eights Tattoo & Piercings in Augusta, holds up a shader needle that he uses for tattooing. The Richmond County Board of Health is considering an ordinance that would regulate the practices of tattoo parlors.

Ward, a partner or owner of two tattoo studios in Augusta, is part of a group of tattoo artists who have been pushing for an ordinance to help weed out unscrupulous and "fly-by-night" operators. The board of health discussed the proposed ordinance Tuesday night and formed a subcommittee to study some issues raised by board attorney Harry Revell, including whether to require studios to carry liability insurance.

The subcommittee will likely meet in the next week or two, possibly with some tattoo artists, with a goal of reporting back at the monthly meeting in July.

Board member Jerry Brigham said he would like to see a public hearing in August and a vote no later than September. Randy Wishard, the county manager for environmental health, said he worked with a group of owners to help set up the new regulations for tattoo parlors.

"I'd never even been in one," he said.

The proposed ordinance requires, among other things, single-use needles and other supplies, sterilization techniques and informed consent, and forbids tattoos for anyone younger than 18, in addition to piercings, unless by written consent of a parent.

"All of the code they are trying to enact we've been doing for my whole career," said Ward, who has been in the business for 21 years. "This way, it just helps get other people on track with trying to be safe and do all of the proper stuff for the environment and people, and help legitimize our business."

About two years ago, the state of Georgia sent out guidelines for counties to follow in enacting tattoo ordinances, Wishard said. The Augusta tattoo artists looked at different ones around the state, and other states such as Texas, to pull different pieces together, said Kenny McGee, the co-owner of Aces and Eights Tattoo in Augusta. Augusta's draft ordinance is a "mix of six or seven ordinances" that also reflect best practices, he said.

"Nothing is unreasonable," McGee said.

"It keeps us safe and our customers safe," said Weylin Traugott, a tattoo artist and manager of Gunslingers Tattoo.

The new ordinance will also keep dishonest tattoo artists from gaining an advantage, Ward said.

"When people are trying to make more money, sometimes they will cut corners," he said. "It's going to keep the people who want to cut corners from doing that."

The ordinance would also ban mobile offices such as trailers, which sometimes set up shop at flea markets to offer cut-rate tattooing, said artist Frank Inglett.

The ordinance really isn't for those who are already doing the right thing, Wishard said. "This is for the people who don't do right."

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corgimom
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corgimom 06/09/10 - 06:36 am
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Randy Wishard, the county

Randy Wishard, the county manager for environmental health,..."I'd never even been in one," he said.

Educated, professional man in a high paying job; never been in a tattoo parlor.

Think those two things are connected?

Iknowjack
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Iknowjack 06/09/10 - 07:55 am
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After attending the Tattoo

After attending the Tattoo Expo over the past weekend, and speaking with many of the vendors/artists who attended, it is clear to see that one of the local tattoo shops are ahead in their planning. 1st Amendment Tattoo for example is heads above many of the other local shops by putting the new ordinance in effect prior to it becoming mandated. Those guys lead by Fro, Justin, and Richard are by no means "fly by night" artists. They have a hold on to what it takes to run a clean, healthy shop and will continue to strive in downtown Augusta....

jbtone
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jbtone 06/09/10 - 09:30 am
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corgimom; I'm not sure if

corgimom; I'm not sure if your trying to make a parallel that high paid, educated persons dont get tattoos.....

If it is the intent of your post, you would be surprised at the number of very well educated, highly paid persons that have tattoos. I am one of them.

Tattoos are about what you like or don't like - not what kind of parchment paper you have hung on your wall or how high you can stick your nose in the air at someone that you 'think' is beneath you.

Dixieman
15331
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Dixieman 06/09/10 - 09:58 am
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1. This is classic

1. This is classic "regulatory capture" -- the biggest firms in a field get regulations passed to freeze out the small guys, and the whole field becomes more monopolistic and expensive. It is very revealing that CONSUMERS are not calling for this regulation, COMPETITORS are. Same thing occurs in every regulatory system.
2. I love Augusta and the South but I am embarrased that we had the Tattoo Expo here! Face it, tats are for losers!

usafvet
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usafvet 06/09/10 - 10:25 am
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Well said dixieman. What

Well said dixieman. What sickened me was the advertisement that stated children under 12 free. That is not aimed at the expo so much as it speaks volumes of any parent that would take their child in such a place. I now the "artists" scream their first amendment rights, but I am expressing (my right) my opinion. Even the best applied are trashy and they go down hill from there. More employers should be able to exercise their rights and not hire a walking 'billboard".

RAWR
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RAWR 06/09/10 - 10:42 am
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Dixieman ... you call people

Dixieman ... you call people who have tattoos losers. But We protect your way of life. Soldiers, Firefighters, Deputies, EMTs, Nurses and Doctors are several examples of people that have ink. There are so many other people in every industry that effect your everyday life that have ink.

Why do you think We are losers? I am not the one spending my time trying to tear people down for doing something that they love. But I am still the loser right?

agunn421
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agunn421 06/09/10 - 10:41 am
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iknowjack- i have to agree

iknowjack- i have to agree about 1st amendment tattoo... i have 2 tattoos both done by fro. they do amazing work. i get a lot of compliments them. it amazes me at how close minded people are. just because you have a tattoo does not make you trash. while some people do have tattoos that do mean anything to them others do. i got mine for my children (one who passed away). and everytime i look at it i am reminded that my son is in a much better place. so maybe before you pass judgement on someone you should look at things from thier point of view.

KNECKBONE
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KNECKBONE 06/09/10 - 10:44 am
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tattoos and piercings.what a

tattoos and piercings.what a waste of time and money .

RAWR
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RAWR 06/09/10 - 10:48 am
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And some people are a waste

And some people are a waste of air ...

ArmedandLegal
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ArmedandLegal 06/09/10 - 10:51 am
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Shout out to Twighlight

Shout out to Twighlight Studios. Chip (owner) & Mike are outstanding artists and have been well established for years.

cristinadh
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cristinadh 06/09/10 - 11:19 am
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What are the best tattoo

What are the best tattoo parlors in town then??? One more thing.. a tattoo does not make the person..

ArmedandLegal
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ArmedandLegal 06/09/10 - 11:37 am
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Boy talk about alot of

Boy talk about alot of baseless insults just being slung at people for having tattoos. I think the irony is a bit thick today...

edit: And I would advise all people trying to explain why they have tattoos to stop - do not waste your time or energy on people who obviously have a one track mind. There is no point in trying to justify or argue with a brick wall. People like that generally have some personal self esteem issues when they feel the need to pass judgement on you based on some inanimate ink on our skin. They are probably already angry or depressed about some crappy part of their own lives - let them stew in their own crud.

cristinadh
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cristinadh 06/09/10 - 11:35 am
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well said!!

well said!!

RAWR
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RAWR 06/09/10 - 11:37 am
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I wouldn't explain why I have

I wouldn't explain why I have tattoos to them.

JGreyson
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JGreyson 06/09/10 - 12:20 pm
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Thomas Edison, Queen

Thomas Edison, Queen Victoria, Lady Churchill (Mrs. Winston Churchill), JFK Jr...all these "losers" were tattooed.

jasonthe29th
5
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jasonthe29th 06/09/10 - 01:41 pm
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Why are all the quotes in

Why are all the quotes in this story about besting competitors and not the safety of their clients? What is the real concern here?

SnidleyWhiplash
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SnidleyWhiplash 06/09/10 - 01:42 pm
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To answer the question "what

To answer the question "what are the best tattoo parlors in town": Gunslingers, and A Dermagraphic Production. Franklin Ward - the gentleman interviewed above - is a personal friend of mine. He runs a first class shop. Very clean, very professional. He has done a lot of my ink, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to anyone.

As a note, generally, they're known as "Tattoo Studios" these days.

Riverman1
84926
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Riverman1 06/09/10 - 01:56 pm
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They ought to give a gamma

They ought to give a gamma globulin shot along with the tattoo.

Grimzine
6
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Grimzine 06/09/10 - 02:30 pm
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I have been getting tattooed

I have been getting tattooed for the past 10 years+. I am excited to see these regulations in the works. All the shops I visit and get worked in are hospital clean and very professional but I have seen these fly by night guys and with very serious BBPs out there today it is great to see this come to light. I know alot of people look down on tattoos but I do not get tattooed to impress anyone else, they are personal for me and no one else. The places I get tattooed in the past is Gunslingers (Franklin Ward + Weylin Traugott), Aces and Eights (Kenny Mcgee + Robert + Jon Pitcher), Matt Skin, DJ Minor, Kirk Wilken, and Dustin Lucas

corgimom
33186
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corgimom 06/09/10 - 02:54 pm
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"Tattoos are about what you

"Tattoos are about what you like or don't like - not what kind of parchment paper you have hung on your wall or how high you can stick your nose in the air at someone that you 'think' is beneath you."

Absolutely, they are about what you like or don't like. And that's why people with maturity and common sense know that tattoos are a turnoff to many employers, and many employers don't like them- and they don't want to do that to themselves.

And an employer can stick their nose up in the air as high as they want to, when it comes to hiring someone. An employer has every right to set professional standards for his employees.

Doesn't common sense tell you not to do something to your body that is extremely difficult and painful and expensive to fix, (removal causes terrible scars) and that can cause terrible infections and scarring?

Grimzine
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Grimzine 06/09/10 - 02:56 pm
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Lucky for me my empolyer

Lucky for me my empolyer based hiring me based on my skills and knowledge not what I look like. Tattoos are becoming more accepted by society and those of us who do get extensively tattooed know that some employers will not accept us but it is a choice we make.

ArmedandLegal
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ArmedandLegal 06/09/10 - 03:51 pm
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corgimom is just an

corgimom is just an uneducated housewife, ignore her. She has to find something to do between dusting and scrubbing the toliets of her house

See? I can make baseless claims too!

I work in the IT industry for a multi-billion dollar national company. I have full sleeve tattoos and legs. Does that make you mad? This isnt the 80's or 90's. Tattoos are no longer considered taboo, get with the times.

bettyboop
7
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bettyboop 06/09/10 - 06:51 pm
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I do not care to get tatooed

I do not care to get tatooed myself but I certainly do not think that those that do are sub-human...one of the sweetest and highly educated professional women I know has a lovely tat so it's best not to judge at least until you know the person your looking down your nose at......just saying

Dixieman
15331
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Dixieman 06/09/10 - 08:31 pm
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Y'all go ahead and get your

Y'all go ahead and get your tats and tramp stamps for your wives and girlfriends. When I retire, I am going to open up a laser tattoo removal shop and make millions off those of you who grow up and regret what you did! (Lots of removal shops around today, folks -- go ask them for their customers' stories before you get one for yourself, and check out Leviticus 19:28 too).

ennui
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ennui 06/09/10 - 11:52 pm
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I don't want or have any

I don't want or have any tats, but I think it's an age thing. When I was coming up (sheesh, I sound old...only 48) tats were for bikers and the military men.
When my kids (all grown) expressed an interest in getting a tattoo here or there, the only thing I asked of them was to make sure the parlor/studio was clean and reputable, and to have said tat put somewhere that can be covered by regular clothing or business wear.

The piercings are another matter entirely. If you want to look like you fell face first in a tackle box, don't be surprised when people don't want to hire you to be the face they present to the public.

Augusta resident
1368
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Augusta resident 06/10/10 - 02:41 am
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This story isn't about

This story isn't about tattoos being good or bad, it's about regulating the shops. There isn't a cure for Hep C.

InChristLove
22480
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InChristLove 06/10/10 - 08:11 am
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"and make millions off those

"and make millions off those of you who grow up and regret what you did!" Dixieman, some who are like myself waited until I was 40 before getting my first tat so don't hold your breathe thinking you're going to become a millionaire on removing tattoos. As for your reference on Leviticus...please read the whole chapter. This scripture is referring to unbelievers marking the dead with pagan symbols which the Jews were commanded not to do. If someone takes your suggestion and ask customers of a tattoo removal business for their story, what else would you expect for them to say, they're there to get it removed...DUH!

burninater
9627
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burninater 06/10/10 - 09:16 am
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"Doesn't common sense tell

"Doesn't common sense tell you not to do something to your body that is extremely difficult and painful and expensive to fix, (removal causes terrible scars) and that can cause terrible infections and scarring?"

Corgi, are you talking about tattoos or having babies?

RAWR
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RAWR 06/10/10 - 09:41 am
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Dixieman you will not be

Dixieman you will not be making your millions off of me. My ink has meaning and it will never be removed.

butler123
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butler123 06/10/10 - 10:20 am
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I used to feel like people

I used to feel like people who got tattoos were kind of trashy. I still wouldn't get one, but I've had to change my thinking on it. All three of my kids have them. And my daughter in law( 4 years of college) and son in law have them as well. They are just super popular now. Two of my kids and my son in law are in the Army. My daughter is Afghanistan right now. So you might want to be a little more careful with your negative words as you don't know who you are offending. I actually lost a good friend years ago when I said that women with tattoos were trashy. I didn't know that she had her dead son's name tattooed on her shoulder.

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