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State Senator Proposing Tattoo Ban On 16 & Under

FERNDALE (WWJ) - A Michigan State Senator says he's going to introduce a bill to make tattoos illegal for kids 16 and under.

Glenn Anderson of Westland says he became concerned after a social worker told him that she was seeing many extremely young children with tattoos. As of now, any child can get a tattoo or piercing with parental consent. Anderson thinks the current law that requires parental consent doesn't go far enough. He doesn't think anyone under 16 should be able to get ink.

Artist Mike Welshons of the Nine Lives Tattoo Shop in Ferndale says he won't give a tattoo to anyone under 18... and no reputable tattoo shop would.

"I mean, I think anyone can do whatever they want to do, but I'm just saying no good shops. And the tattoos are a very permanent thing, it's not like going to buy a car or a piece of jewelry or a piece of clothing that can be returned," says Welshons.

Welshons also agrees with the state senator's proposed tattoo ban.

"No good tattoo shops are gonna' do anyone under 18 period, with parental consent or not. I don't think that anyone who's 16 to 18 is able to make a good decision on something that's going to be there for the rest of their life," says Welshons.

And even with parental consent, Welshons adds, "You know, if a parent brings the kid in and signs for them to get a tattoo, you don't know if they're divorced; you don't know if the other parent's gonna' have any conflicting issues. So, I mean, even just from a legal standpoint that could come up too."

But 19-year-old Eric Burnum - who was in the Nine Lives store getting a diamond tattoo on his elbow - does not favor the ban.

"It's up to the parent, I mean, everybody raises their kids different," says Burnum.

But he thinks kids should wait until 18 like his parents made him do.

Says Burnum, "I know most kids go out and they want to get one right away, but it's definitely worth the wait."

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