WACO, TX — When Governor Abbott announced the reopening of nail salons, hair salons and the expected opening of gyms, tattoo store owners were upset not to reopen.
Tattoo shops were not included in the reopenings, and they argue that they are more sanitary than barbershops and other salons due to the nature of their work and the guidelines already in place.
"Because of the contact they have with people and the liability they have to this virus, [rules] have to be done equally, just like everything we have to abide by in rules is on equality," Zac Colbert, co-owner of Infamous Ink said.
Infamous Ink in Waco said they joined a statewide movement to reopen, despite the executive order. Broken Circle Tattoo in Crowley also announced on Facebook that they will be opening on Friday.
They plan to enforce strict guidelines, so they're not violating social distancing orders to prove they can remain safe and be open.
The guidelines are listed below:
Infamous Ink was issued a citation on Friday afternoon from code enforcement. They were asked to shut down and refused.
"I didn't try to go forcibly against them," Colbert said. "I tried to show them as much respect as much respect as I possibly could. I thanked the officers for being here, and I asked questions."
Colbert's was the first business cited for violating the governor's orders in the City of Waco in more than a month. City officials say their aim is to get compliance without having to punish business owners.
"You cannot not abide by the rules and the laws," Waco city spokesperson Larry Holze said. "If that's the case we would not have traffic light, we'd have wrecks, we'd have all kinds of things happen."
The District Attorney's Office reached out to Colbert's lawyers and informed him they would allow the shop to remain open a few days before they took forcible action to make them shut their doors.
Enforcement agencies are not allowed to jail business owners for violating the governor's executive orders, but they can issue citations and bring them before the municipal judge for further punishment.