Riverbank Voting on Temporarily Banning New Tattoo Shops

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RIVERBANK -

According to a new Riverbank city hall report, tattoo shops support crime and infectious disease.

Ray Hoot, the owner of a Riverbank tattoo shop, surprisingly agrees with the report. He says the city needs to take a close look at the people who want to open tattoo parlors.

"They do need to get a grip on it, so they can make sure that anybody who is tattooing or body piercing is licensed, and they hold practitioners licenses which are required by the state of California," Hoot said.

In just two weeks alone, Riverbank City Manager Jill Anderson says she received four inquiries about opening tattoo shops in city limits.

"That raised my concern that, gosh, do we have the tools in place to properly regulate those? And the answer to that question is that we do not," Anderson said.

The city's concern is regulating the tattoo business.

"Massage parlors became much more mainstream about 10-15 years ago. And we found then that we don't have the right tools to manage them properly," Anderson said. "There were some that used it as a cover for illegal activity including prostitution and human trafficking."

On Tuesday night, the city council will vote on whether to put a 45-day moratorium on the tattoo shops.

"I think that we could get a handle on what tools we might need. Whether we can actually get them implemented in 45 days remains to be seen," said Anderson.

Anderson says background checks, hours of operation and location are things the city could enforce.

Four out of five council members will have to vote 'yes' on Tuesday for the temporary ban to go into effect.

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