Start ENFORCING the current Florida Law Banning Fireworks from Being Sold or Set Off in Residential Neighborhoods

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Florida Statute Chapter 791 states it is illegal to buy, sell or explode consumer fireworks — even on your own property — unless you (A) have a city permit to shoot off fireworks for the public to enjoy; (B) will use the explosives to scare off birds from a farm or fish hatchery; or (C) you work on a railroad and need to light or clear a path for your train. The state defines "fireworks" to include standard fireworks, projectile fireworks, launchable rockets with stands, M-80s and bottle rockets.

Yet the law is totally ignored and not enforced in Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, Hillsborough and other Florida counties. In a recent study done in 2013, 48 people died from handling fireworks, according to CPSC, and about 11,400 people were injured — an increase from 8,700 injuries in 2012. Lax laws are to blame for the rise in injury and death. Some counties, like Pinellas, have passed local ordinances that ban projectile fireworks. Yet that is also not enforced. 

Fireworks cause life-changing injury, emotional stress to our Veterans with PTSD, fires and scare our pets to the point that some need to be sedated. Local animal services agencies are inundated with lost pets the day after the 4th of July and New Years Eve. Wildlife is also affected, Manatee County recently cancelled one fireworks celebration for that reason. 

Insisting that the law is too difficult to enforce is ridiculous. The same has been said for the war on drugs and other harmful and illegal activities. The loopholes in this law need to be closed. If they weren't allowed to openly sell them everywhere and be purchased by signing a fake waiver saying people are using them on a farm or fish hatchery, enforcement would be much easier. When we had a severe drought a few years ago, suddenly the law was enforceable, proving it can be done when law enforcement chooses to do so.

We would like a response as to why this illegal activity is accepted, but what we really want is for the law to be enforced before more people and animals are hurt and killed. 

Sincerely,

The taxpayers of Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, and Hillsborough County



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