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Grovetown officials pass ordinance regulating tattoo shops

Posted: April 15, 2013 - 6:48pm  |  Updated: April 16, 2013 - 11:13pm
Courtney Benton gets a tattoo from Brad Thomas at Electric Avenue Tattoo in Grovetown. The Grovetown city council passed an ordinance allowing only a licensed physician to do tattoos.Thomas is grandfathered in under the old law.
   Photo By Jim Blaylock
Photo By Jim Blaylock
Courtney Benton gets a tattoo from Brad Thomas at Electric Avenue Tattoo in Grovetown. The Grovetown city council passed an ordinance allowing only a licensed physician to do tattoos.Thomas is grandfathered in under the old law.

Grovetown officials approved an ordinance Monday that allows only licensed physicians to give tattoos inside the city.

City council members unanimously approved the second reading of the ordinance at Monday’s monthly meeting.

The city attorney presented council members with ordinance options to regulate tattoo shops in the city.

“This is the one council has chosen,” Mayor George James said.

Only licensed physicians will be allowed to perform tattoos and body piercings.

James has previously said only allowing licensed physicians to perform tattoos is the “safest” option.

Electric Avenue, the city’s only tattoo shop, and its owner, Brad Thomas, were grandfathered into the city ordinance and will be able to continue operating under the guidelines that were in place when he opened the shop on Robinson Avenue.

The Columbia Board of Health, on which James sits, worked with Columbia County commissioners to put a body art ordinance in place in early 2012. That ordinance, which local tattoo artists were involved in developing, regulates sanitary and safety procedures.

Thomas’ shop falls under the county ordinance and, like other county shops, is inspected annually and must follow strict operating procedures.

Thomas attended the meeting, but did not comment on the ordinance. He has said that he doesn’t have a problem with the new rules.

The new ordinance goes into effect immediately.

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