How Some Floridians are Breaking the Fireworks Law

By: Bergen Baucom Email
By: Bergen Baucom Email

Marianna- When it comes to fireworks in Florida, if it flies or explodes it's against the law. But law that hasn't stopped many people from going to Alabama and buying any type of firework they wanted.

"Business is location, location, location and I got a good location"
said J.R. Poppell, the owner of JR's Fireworks. He told us that July was the busiest time of the year for his business. For over twenty-five years he's had a shop just over the Alabama state line from Florida.

He said most of his customers traveled to his store from Georgia or Florida where the laws prohibit anything that leaves the ground. Some of his out of state patrons told us, they came to purchase pops because didn't want the law get in the way of a good time.

Jay Debole and his friends stopped at JR's on their way to Destin from Newnan, Georgia. "In Georgia, the only thing legal is like, sparklers- It's ridiculous. But it's just a law, we just have to come here to get them" Debole said.

Poppell agreed and told us, people had a pretty good reason not to worry about shooting them off. "You think how many fireworks are going to be shot the fourth of July, they can't put them all in jail."

And Jackson County Sheriff, Lou Roberts saw his point.
"We realize that people are going to be purchasing a lot of fireworks and really, it's going to be like trying to stop the sun from coming up as far as stopping people from firing fireworks" Roberts said.He told us his deputies planned to focus more on safety than prevention.

Roberts cautioned anyone who planned to shoot fireworks to be sure the area was not a fire hazard and to be very careful to not hurt themselves or others. He also told us that because the holiday fell on a work day this year, people needed to be respectful of neighbors who may not want to party. "I know we want to celebrate the 4th of July, but we ask that people use respect and caution when using fireworks" Roberts said.


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