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The Truth About Fireworks Laws in Florida

Sitting at home last night, on Fourth of July eve, I heard coming from outside the concussive sound of round after round of fireworks going off in our neighborhood.  These are exciting sounds: the shrill whistle and pop of the bottle rockets, the sizzle of a small shower of sparks emitting from a 500 gram fountain, the low thump of Roman candles flying out of the tube.

I was quite tempted to go to the garage to get out my stash of artillery shells and show them how its REALLY done!

But I resisted, not because the boys were already in bed (I’d light off fireworks by myself) but because after a little bit of research last week I now know the truth about the fireworks laws in Florida.

It appears that while Florida sells every type of fireworks manufactured for personal, individual use, all the way up to the multi-shot artillery shells, anything that “launches or explodes” is illegal to set off in the state of Florida.

That means the only thing you are legally allowed to use in Florida are these party poppers with the strings, those snappers that you throw on the ground to pop, and smoke bombs! This to me is absolutely insane!

First of all it’s a totally unenforceable rule. If cops were to arrest everyone in my neighborhood alone who’d setting off illegal fireworks the county jail would be full by morning.  Secondly, by selling illegal fireworks to in-state residents, by the way of a loophole where the buyer says they won’t use them illegally, you’re enabling people to break the law. You’re practically begging them to do it!

With this ridiculous the double standard of selling fireworks to people who can’t legally use them, I started noticing other crazy inconsistencies in life:

  • The drive-thru “beverage barn”
  • A swimsuit edition in a sports magazine
  • Locks on stores that are open 24/7
  • Diet soda
  • Celebrity wedding vows
While I really (really) enjoy lighting off fireworks (or pyrotechnic devices of any kind) I will probably be a good boy this year and refrain from digging into my stash. In all honesty it’s not because I now know about the fireworks laws in Florida, but rather, because we’ll be out late tonight watching the fireworks after the Brevard County Manatees minor league baseball game.
Which brings me to another wacky inconsistency. the rally cry of the Brevard Manatees — “Fear the Sea Cow!”