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Tattoo Shop Owner Facing Charges

February 12, 2010, 9:55 PM by Perry Groten

Tattoo Shop Owner Facing Charges
NORTH SIOUX CITY, SD - The Union County Sheriff wants to hear from concerned parents whose children may be sporting body art from a business that's under investigation.

The Painless Pinworks tattoo shop is located next door to North Sioux City's city hall and police department. But legal problems have shut down the business down. The owner, Lance Dunlap, is accused of giving underaged customers tattoos without their parents' permission, which is a misdemeanor.

"He has an obligation to make sure to check their ID's, make sure they are of age, talk to their parents, and in this case, it didn't happen," Union County Sheriff Dan Limoges said.

Dunlap also runs a tattoo shop here at the Southern Hills Mall in Sioux City, Iowa. We spoke to his brother today who says they didn't realize that parents' consent was needed in South Dakota. They say the never would have opened up a shop in North Sioux City if that was the case. But the Union County sheriff says being an Iowa-based business unfamiliar with South Dakota laws is no excuse.

"It's concerning to me that these establishments need to take it upon themselves to do what's right, understand the laws of the state of South Dakota, and follow those laws," Limoges said.

Limoges says a search warrant turned up paperwork showing that dozens of underaged customers received tattoos at the shop. But Dunlap's brother, who declined to go on camera, says many parents often accompany their kids to their tattoo shop.

Dunlap is also facing felony tax charges. Plus, the sheriff says Painless Pinworks hasn't been inspected for health codes. But he says the business appeared to be clean and well-kept.

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