Fireworks could become legal in Georgia

March 5, 2013 8:00 am

by Bridget Cantrell · 25 comments

Maggie Lee informs us a bill to legalize fireworks hits the floor today.


  • ATLANTA — The great Georgia tradition of an annual drive to Alabama to load up on Independence Day fireworks may soon end if a state Senate move to legalize the explosives is successful in a Tuesday vote.
  • Taxes on the fireworks would raise an estimated $5 million annually to be split between firefighter training and trauma care.
  • The measure is carried in a pair of Senate documents in tandem: Senate Bill 229 describes what would be legal and how it would be regulated. Senate Resolution 378 contains the proposed constitutional amendment that voters would be asked to approve on their November 2014 ballots.
  • If the statewide referendum passes, each Georgia city and county that wants to authorize sales of Roman candles, firecrackers and the like would then need to write local rules about where fireworks could be sold.
  • Mullis’ latest draft, subject to change, would ban seasonal sparkler-selling tents that appear in shopping center parking lots ahead of every Fourth of July. It’s on the grounds that without sprinklers, they are not as safe as buildings, and it’s easier for such temporary operations to dodge taxes and licensing.
saltycracker March 5, 2013 at 8:29 am

“■Taxes on the fireworks would raise an estimated $5 million annually to be split between firefighter training and trauma care.”

And where do we look for the credit on our property tax bill ?

John Vestal March 5, 2013 at 8:51 am

Would I be able to buy them before 12:30PM on Sundays? :>)

Lea Thrace March 5, 2013 at 9:05 am

Ok. Clearly I’m a dunce for assuming. But I thought fireworks became legal a few years back. I assumed this because I suddenly began seeing firework tent sales pop up in GA around major holidays (the 4th, memorial day, etc.)

If it’s been illegal all this time, can anyone help explain what I’ve been seeing? Was it legal to sell but illegal to activate?

drjay March 5, 2013 at 9:16 am

my understanding is that the “fireworks” that are legal in ga are ones that don’t propel like bottle rockets or roman candles do, but that just fizz and spark like sparkles…

Lea Thrace March 5, 2013 at 9:36 am

Ah. That makes sense. I am now a little bit less of a dunce. Thanks! :-D

seenbetrdayz March 5, 2013 at 9:10 am

I don’t see much harm in legalizing them.

All I know is that Crawford county has maybe 3 deputies on duty at any given time and they can’t be at every backyard fireworks show on July 4th. They’re illegal but in some areas of the state the law is pretty much unenforceable. Might as well tax ‘em and let folks set themselves on fire if they’re gonna do that anyway.

Raleigh March 5, 2013 at 9:10 am

The taxes raised would be spent where? Oh sure it will, just like the 911 tax, used tire tax, etc……….

Charlie March 5, 2013 at 9:25 am

Two others have hit on the same issue. Tax money goes to the general fund. It rarely meets up with firefighters or trauma care, or widows and orphans. Usually it ends up in museums that celebrate the egos of the best state legislature money can buy. Go Fish.

Raleigh March 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I hear experience for visitors is second to none at the Go Fish Georgia Education center. It seems there are more employees than visitors so all visitor get personalized service :-). Maybe it will break even as early as 2087 too.

Ed March 5, 2013 at 9:28 am

I am opposed. I have some serious social cachet by having fireworks parties. If any old Tom, Dick or Harry can have such a fete, my social standing will be further diminished.

greencracker March 5, 2013 at 9:28 am

Ok for the insider crowd that asks such obscure questions, this is a constitutional amendment, so the funds would be rock-solid dedicated, couldn’t go into general fund like has waste, tires, etc do. Constitution = iron clad like the gas tax.

Charlie March 5, 2013 at 9:31 am

Then I would prefer we start with Constitutional amendments for all the other dedicated funds that are being misused if the general assembly wants to demonstrate some good faith on the issue.

greencracker March 5, 2013 at 9:35 am

Well then, petition your government.

Rick Day March 6, 2013 at 9:32 pm

In order to do that, he would have to take out a second mortgage *sigh*

greencracker March 5, 2013 at 9:30 am

Also, ya, sparklers are already legal, but this speaks to the fun stuff

Lawton Sack (GATA Eagles!) March 5, 2013 at 11:38 am

There are many Georgians that trek to South Carolina for their fireworks.

Napoleon March 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm

This also puts us at a disadvantage against Tennessee, who, by allowing firework sales, has a greater supply of arms at the GA-TN border.

Lawton Sack (GATA Eagles!) March 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I was wondering about Tennessee. We have similar law(s) as Florida when it comes to fireworks. Florida goes as far as to list the approved sparklers:

Lawton Sack (GATA Eagles!) March 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm

That .pdf is important. Urgggggggggggh.

Charlie March 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm

I tried fixing it but I can’t seem to either.

Lawton Sack (GATA Eagles!) March 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Links have been “funky” over the last few weeks. I am sure WordPress implemented an unnecessary feature.

drjay March 6, 2013 at 8:50 am

every time this headline catches my eye, i immediately go back to my childhood, and picture a south of the border sign along 95

“pedro’s fireworks–does yours?”

Charlie March 6, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Your sheep are all counted.

Noway March 6, 2013 at 9:08 am

Your mentioning interstate signs made me remember the funniest ones I have ever seen. I-75 south of Macon: “We Bare All” and if that was subtle enough it was normally followed by the ever discreet, “Butt Naked…” LOL! We live in a funny world!

Rick Day March 6, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Brain Slowinski would not approve of such billboard language. Think of the children!

Brian Slowinski can NOT tell you how many stripper poles that establishment owns!

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