Should minors be allowed to get tattoos? - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Should minors be allowed to get tattoos?

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BECKLEY -

Ink and teenagers.

Sometimes a controversial combination. Do lawmakers think the two belong together?

Right now, anyone at any age can walk in to a tattoo parlor with the written consent of a parent or legal guardian and be at the parlor with a photo identification and get their skin painted. We talked with two 18 year olds who got their tattoos as minors who are actually in favor of tighter tattoo laws.

"In a way its good because you should be of age before you go doing something like that because you're stuck with it for the rest of your life," said Michael Bragg of Fayette County.

They say their tattoos are meaningful, and even though they got theirs done before turning 18 they're not sure minors truly know what they want and the consequences that follow.

"That would be a good law because a bunch of kids are getting tattoos. I believe a law should be passed that they shouldn't get one until 18. I would have waited til I was 18 but I had a chance to so I took it," Shawn Hobbs of Fayetteville said.

Even with laws in place, its still under the discretion of the parlor to deny anyone.

"If they come in and want something ridiculous I might talk the parents into not letting them have it. Sometimes the subject matter is more important than what they're getting," said the owner of Awesome Ink Tattoo & Piercing, James Pate.

He explained why the subject matter, matters most.

"A topless woman wouldn't be as appropriate as a cross or a name. I try to talk them out of that. They want a boyfriend or girlfriends name tattoos. I usually don't turn someone down completely but I always try to talk sense into people. I see them in 5 or 6 years wanting to cover it up because they're not with jenny or bobby anymore."