Proposed legislation aims to make more fireworks legal in Florida, but only on 3 holidays

Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.(WFLA) – Two Florida legislators are attempting to lighten the Sunshine State’s law on fireworks.

Republican state Sen., Travis Hutson from St. Augustine, and Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez, R-Doral, filed legislation (SB 140, HB 65) for consideration during the 2020 legislative session, which is only months away.

Under current Florida law, which was created more than a decade ago, small items such as sparklers are legal for residents to purchase.

However, “firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, dago bombs, and any fireworks containing any explosives or flammable compound or any tablets or other device containing any explosive substance” are not legal for residents.

A decades-old loophole is that aerial and explosive fireworks can be purchased if a person signs a waiver verifying that the fireworks will be used for agricultural purposes, such as “frightening birds from agricultural work and fish hatcheries.”

They can also be used for “signal purposes or illumination” of a railroad or quarry, “for signal or ceremonial purposes in athletics or sports, or for use by military organizations.”

The law is the only one of its kind in the country, and has been the target of some scrutiny among officials.

According to Hudson, the proposal would allow individuals to pledge to use the fireworks “solely and exclusively” during one of the three designated holidays— Fourth of July, Memorial Day and New Year’s Eve.

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