Tattoo artist wants Governor DeSantis to say they can re-open


TRINITY, Fla. (WFLA) – At Forbidden Images Tattoo Art Studio in Trinity, needles are idle. No one is getting inked.

Owners Julie and Litos Pinto have been in the business for more than 40 years and they’re at their wits end being shutdown.

“Since that first day, we’ve been trying to reach out to understand what our roles were,” Litos said.

Today 8 On Your Side sat with Litos watching Governor Ron DeSantis’ lengthy news conference from Jacksonville. Litos was hoping to hear one thing…when he can re-open.

As he watched and waited, 8 On Your Side’s Rod Carter emailed and called the governor’s press people to get someone to ask him that question and get Litos and others like him, some answers.
it worked… sort of.

The question was asked, but the governor never answered leaving Litos upset looking for answers.

“It’s the fact that we’ve been living this since March 23… not being addressed, not being acknowledged.”

The matter is leaving many tattoo parlors confused. On the state’s own, Open My Florida website, under cosmetology salons and barber shops, tattoo establishments are listed and while salons are now open why are some tattoo establishments open and others not.

Looking for answers, Lito hired attorney Gordon Oldham of Oldham and Delcamp in Pinellas Park firing off a two page letter to the governor, trying to get answers about the future of this multi-million dollar industry.

“The whole point of the letter is to ask the governor, make him aware of what’s going on. There are so many different situations his office might now be aware of the situation,” Oldham said.

Litos tells 8 On Your Side he’s ready to re-open, prepared with hand sanitizer, plan to do temperature checks and even a formed questionnaire to make sure no one coming in sick if it means they can get back to work.

“We’re back at square zero ago. Well we never left square zero,” Litos said.

Late Friday afternoon, a state senator informed 8 On Your Side, he spoke with Policy Director Chris Spencer and right now, tattoo shops will remain closed.


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