Some question special tattoo licensing for Hawaii convention

HONOLULU - It's the first-ever tattoo convention in Hawaii -- the Pacific Ink & Art Expo.  But, not everyone who like to ink is welcoming this event.

Robert Hackney has owned A Tiki Tattoo in Waikiki for 11 years now.  While he supports the business, he questions the effects of a tattoo convention in Hawaii.

"A lot of people feel like the folks are getting special treatment, and they are getting special treatment," said Hackney.  "They're not really tattoo people -- they're making money off the tattoo biz."

Special treatment, like artists from outside Hawaii being allowed to take a special test this week to get a temporary Hawaii tattoo artist license.

State officials say the Hawaii Revised Statutes allows for those licenses to be granted.  Hackney questions what other exceptions will be made for the event.

"They supply them a sharp container, counter and two chairs," said Hackney.  "You're supposed to also have a cabinet, you have to have a sink, cabinets, lockable cabinets, hard surfaces and cleanable walls."

The Department of Health oversees the tattoo business.  The department says they are being extra vigilant.


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