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Fireworks Legislation Blows Through First Hearing

Amani Hasan http://goo.gl/CkThiK

Talks in the Florida legislature turned to big explosions Wednesday. That’s because lawmakers took up a bill that would let more Floridians use fireworks.

Under current Florida law, a person buying fireworks with more bang than a sparkler has to sign a waiver saying they’ll use the goods for agricultural purposes – namely scaring birds away from crops. But Venice Republican Senator Nancy Detert said most of the people signing that form are fibbing.

“The law is a farce and everyone knows and it and everyone that buys fireworks says, why do I have to sign this form, this is ridiculous,” Detert said.

Detert said if the state banned the sale of fireworks, people would just cross state lines to buy them and Florida would lose sales tax revenue. St. Petersburg Republican Senator Jeff Brandes’s measure repeals the existing law, sets a minimum age for buying fireworks and lets local governments create their own rules for their sale and use. The bill passed out of a Senate committee Wednesday and had been scheduled for debate in the House later in the day, but officials announced that discussion has been temporarily postponed.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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