Our statement on the pending tattoo legalization bill has been published as a letter to the editor in the Journal Record, an Oklahoma City business newspaper. For the full text of the letter (they made slight moderations to our press release), see the entry in GPOK co-chair James Branum’s blog, jmbzine.com.
Oklahoma Green Party announces support for tattoo legalization bill
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — The Oklahoma Green Party announces its support of HB 1519 (a bill introduced by Oklahoma State Rep. Al Lindley, D-Oklahoma City) that would legalize and regulate tattoo artists in Oklahoma.
We believe that the legalization and regulation of tattooing in Oklahoma is needed to protect Oklahomans. The prohibition of tattooing has not stopped tattoos from being done in Oklahoma, but it has prevented the state Department of Health from being able to inspect businesses that provide tattoos, or to set adequate safety standards for these establishments. We believe that Oklahomans should not have to drive out of state or go to an unlicensed local shop to get a tattoo.
The concern for safety is what has motviated Dr. Michael Crutcher, head of the state Health Department and Dr. Edward N. Brandt Jr., chairman of the Council on State Legislation for the Oklahoma State Medical Association to stand in favor of the bill (The Oklahoman, February 12, 2005, “Health official backs making tattooing legal”)
We also believe that there is no reason why millions of dollars leave our
state each year to go to out-of-state tattoo parlors in neighboring states. One example reported in the press (The Daily Oklahoman, February 9, 2004 “Senate bill seeks to legalize, regulate tattooing”), was that of Fantasy Tattoos and Body Piercing in Gainesville, TX, a tattoo shop that netted $800,000 in business in 2003, with 95% of those customers coming from Oklahomans.
By legalizing tattoo artists, we will enable Oklahoma consumers to spend their money at home and support local tattoo artists.
Oklahoma’s tattoo ban currently serves to pad the pockets of out-of-state tattoo artists while at the same time leaving Oklahoma consumers at risk from unlicensed local tattoo establishments. It is time that we repeal this out-dated and dangerous law.
The Green Party of Oklahoma
PO Box 52901, Oklahoma City, OK 73152