Gaetz: Legalize Fireworks, Keep Money In Florida

September 10, 2013


Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, has filed a bill that would repeal a fireworks ban in the state because Floridians are already buying fireworks online or bringing fireworks back from other states.

“We’re pushing economic activity out of our state with a regulation that’s relatively meaningless because people get fireworks elsewhere and just bring them down and shoot them off here,” Gaetz told the Panama City News Herald. “We’d rather keep those dollars in Florida.”

State law limits sales to relatively innocuous devices such as sparklers, while banning sales of such things as bottle rockets. But a loophole also has allowed the sale of fireworks to people who sign a statement saying they have an exemption to the law.

Gaetz said the idea for the bill came from a Marianna High School student, who said it was silly for people to cross state lines to buy fireworks and then bring them back to Florida.

Pictured: A Flomaton, Ala., fireworks stand, just north of the Florida/Alabama state line. file photo, click to enlarge.


20 Responses to “Gaetz: Legalize Fireworks, Keep Money In Florida”

  1. David Huie Green on September 13th, 2013 1:56 pm

    Because sparklers don’t ignite fires if misused?

  2. ARK on September 12th, 2013 6:28 pm

    Typical numb-nutz lawyer. Why do we elect these fools?

    Now we’ll have fire departments tied up chasing fires caused by idiots who don’t know what they are doing.

  3. David Huie Green on September 11th, 2013 6:22 pm

    Unless the fireworks are manufactured inside the borders of Florida, the money is still moving beyond us. Some of it — maybe most of it — goes as far as China where it then comes back to finance our deficit spending in Congress.

    Money moves around or it has no value.

    The real reason to support legalization of fireworks is the belief that people should be allowed to be wise or foolish as they see fit (said the man who’s had many a bottle rocket blow up in his/my hands). Disturbing the peace is a whole ‘nother matter and not one I shall address.

    David for cherry bombs
    and good doctors

  4. DIRNSA on September 11th, 2013 1:33 pm

    Better make it worth my while. If fireworks restrictions are lifted, lift them to the point its worth it for me to buy good quality ‘works in Florida. If artillery shells and mortars (50ft minimum height) aren’t allowed, then there’s not much of a point at all, because that’s where the money and fun is at. Also allow the big fountains and multi-stage stuff. Otherwise all Florida would be doing is legalizing a few firecrackers and pathetically weak bottle rockets. Yay. Big deal. I’ll still end up going to Alabama and loading up on the good stuff and then shoot ema ll off in my residential neighborhood. It’s all good tho’…I have a garden hose.

    Set a time limit like Halloween trick or treaters: none of it after a certain hour. For firworks, that means 11pm.

  5. Duke of Wawbeek on September 11th, 2013 4:52 am

    My people financed the American Revolution and as a patriotic American I feel that fireworks should be allowed on Independence Day. We enjoy shooting them on May 14th to celebrate the birth of Israel, May 14 1948.


  6. Chris on September 10th, 2013 7:21 pm

    They are a big fire concern in small neighborhoods. I have had to put out several grass fires when my neighboors shoot them off. Keep them illegal inside city limits. In the county no rules, except keep them on your property. Several people also make it a good time to shoot off a gun in the air during this time because the gun sound can be masked under the fireworks sound.

  7. NF on September 10th, 2013 6:41 pm

    Keep fireworks illegal, enforce the laws. My neighbors set off the last one 0130. Twice a year is too much for this noise.

  8. just plain country on September 10th, 2013 4:23 pm

    LEAVE THEM ILLEGAL! There is a lot of people that have to work on the holidays. I for one, do not like to be woke up in the middle of the night when I have to get up at 3am to go to work. This makes me very ill at my neighbors who I try to get along with! JMO

  9. Ben on September 10th, 2013 2:53 pm

    The self-righteousness seems kinda thick.

    Lighten up, already. You’ve got plenty of other opportunities to submit to your government.

  10. JOHN D. BODIE on September 10th, 2013 2:34 pm

    Mark everybody breaks the law, yes even You at some point everyday, weather You dont stop completly at a stop sign or give a turn signal or something of that nature.

  11. Mark on September 10th, 2013 11:17 am

    @429SCJ wrote:

    “Leave them illegal!

    There is something entertaining about going over the boarder to procure contraband. We make a little fun run out of it twice a year.”

    So basically you want the thrill of committing a crime?

    Please don’t tell me it’s a harmless crime, or one that should be taken off of the books. If it’s against the law, it’s against the law. If YOU are doing it, then you are no different than the other “criminals” you complain about on this board.

  12. Joe on September 10th, 2013 10:38 am

    How about legalize and regulate cannabis, or maybe add a pharmaceutical tax, or perhaps investing effort and resources into positive communicable ideas to further better the community and our families… Instead of these garish and dangerous explosives… if you’re going to complain about revenue or safety that is!
    People need to get their priorities straight, its time we step out of these dark ages.

  13. keith on September 10th, 2013 9:55 am

    i own alabama fireworks and if florida allows me to sell fireworks thwn i guess we will just open 20 more stores lol..light em up.

  14. paul on September 10th, 2013 8:57 am

    I have a better idea.. I quit sending my money to china when I quit buying fireworks.. Just how American is it to send your money overseas just to watch it blowup?

  15. Walnut Hill on September 10th, 2013 8:34 am

    No, please, no! They are a nuisance in neighborhoods and to animals. If some idiots want them, at least make them inconvenient.

  16. Jane on September 10th, 2013 7:12 am

    One year I had bottle rockets on my roof and in the woods( from my neighbors)…had to go put out a fire! This will only make it worse!

  17. John on September 10th, 2013 6:51 am

    We might as well legalize it. The police will not enforce the law anyway. If you show up at a hospital with a gunshot wound… everyone goes crazy trying to find out ..the who’s what’s and where’s …to see if they can charge someone with a crime.. If a child shows up with a firework injury…. bandage them up and send them home.

  18. Ponch on September 10th, 2013 5:24 am

    Well, that’s ingenious!!!

    You could make the same argument for other things that have been banned in Florida (like glass smoking pipes) yet are still bought online or brought back from other states such as Alabama. This too is lost revenue for Florida businesses. People are going to smoke weed regardless of where they purchase their pipe at.

    I see the difference, however, with marijuana being dangerous and all…

    Oh, wait…

  19. 429SCJ on September 10th, 2013 4:27 am

    Leave them illegal!

    There is something entertaining about going over the boarder to procure contraband. We make a little fun run out of it twice a year.

  20. JD on September 10th, 2013 4:23 am

    It’s about time this law is trying to be changed. Florida could be making more money by allowing the citizens to purchase the fireworks in the state. The fireworks are purchased out of state and used in Florida anyhow. So the law banning them isn’t worth it. Also, on holidays such as July 4th, law enforcement are way too busy to go to the hundreds and hundreds of people shooting off illegal fireworks. So the ban is hard to enforce anyways. Why not keep the money in Florida?

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.