Legislator Patrick Burke sends a letter to Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, calling on Amazon to adjust its policies regarding tattoo kits to comply with Erie County law

Erie County, New York- Legislator Patrick Burke has sent a letter to Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, calling on the company to adjust its policies regarding the sale of tattoo kits. Under the current sanitary code, Erie County health inspectors have limited capabilities in preventing unlicensed persons from administering tattoos. In response, Legislator Burke has proposed a new law which would change the penalty for those administering tattoos illegally from an unenforceable code violation to a misdemeanor crime punishable by a $500 fine and/or one month in prison. However, it remains possible for any individual to go onto Amazon and purchase a tattoo kit without showing proof of age or a license.

Legislator Burke tells Jeff Bezos the importance of this issue in his letter. “Like elsewhere in the United States, Erie County is struggling with the ramifications of the opioid epidemic. One of these consequences is the increase in the spread of Hepatitis C. The Center for Disease Control reports that Hepatitis C kills more Americans each year than any other infectious disease. Unsanitary tattooing is contributing to this trend. There has been a dramatic increase in the amount of unlicensed tattoo parlors in Erie County and that is largely due to the low cost and easy access of tattoo kits.”

Legislator Burke is asking Amazon to require those seeking to purchase tattoo kits who reside within the zip codes of Erie County to provide evidence of a valid tattoo license to make such a purchase. “This is a public safety concern. People who obtain tattoo kits without proper training and licensing, risk spreading communicable diseases.” Burke said