Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The sponsor of legislation that seeks to strengthen a Tennessee law prohibiting the tattooing of minors says the measure would also help fight gang activity.

Currently, a person under 18 cannot get a tattoo. A 16-year-old can be tattooed to cover up an existing tattoo, but only with the consent of a parent or guardian, who must be present during the procedure.

Rep. Antonio Parkinson's proposal would mirror the state's child abuse law, which requires signs of abuse to be reported to law enforcement or an entity like the Health Department. Those making the report might be a physician, a police officer or someone in education, such as a teacher.

The Memphis Democrat said he believes the proposal would also benefit law enforcement because many of the illegal parlors tattoo teenage gang members.



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