BAN ALL ILLEGAL FIREWORKS
Pinellas County Ordinance
Division 1 - Sale and use by citizens
PINELLAS COUNTY ORDINANCE NO. 03-
AN ORDINANCE OF THE COUNTY OF PINELLAS, PROVIDING A REGULATORY MECHANISM TO ENFORCE THE PROVISIONS OF FLORIDA STATUTES CHAPTER 791 REGARDING THE SALE AND USE OF FIREWORKS; AMENDING THE EXISTING ORDINANCE TO USE THE DEFINITIONS PROVIDED FOR IN CHAPTER 791, F.S.; PROVIDING THAT THE PURCHASER OF ANY FIREWORKS PRODUCE DOCUMENTATION SHOWING EXEMPTION FROM, OR COMPLIANCE WITH, THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE FLORIDA STATUTES; PROVIDING THAT A SELLER OF FIREWORKS MUST OBTAIN A PERMIT FROM FIRE AUTHORITY PRIOR TO ENGAGING IN ANY SALES; REGULATING THE STORAGE AND SALE OR USE OF SPARKLERS; ESTABLISHING RECORD KEEPING REQUIREMENTS ON VENDORS OF FIREWORKS WITHIN PINELLAS COUNTY; ESTABLISHING PENALTIES FOR MULTIPLE CONVICTIONS OF VIOLATIONS; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS THAT MAY ARISE AS A RESULT OF MATTERS RAISED AT THE PUBLIC HEARING OR IN CONSULTATION WITH RESPONSIBLE AUTHORITIES; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, Florida Statute Chapter 791, provides limitations on the sale and use of items defined under this chapter as “Fireworks”; and
WHEREAS, many injuries to both persons and property occur each year as a result of improper use and illegal sale of fireworks being sold under the guise of being sparklers and, therefore, legal for consumer purchase and use; and
WHEREAS, the improper use and illegal sale of items purporting to be lawful sparklers cause life and property threatening fires and fire hazards; and
WHEREAS, some vendors of fireworks sell to the public, fireworks which are legal for use only by certain businesses. In order to feign compliance with restrictions on sales under existing law, these vendors obtain certain representations from purchasers that the purchasers meet the legal requirements to use such fireworks without verifying the truthfulness of those statements; and
WHEREAS, it is deemed necessary to protect the lives and property of the people of Pinellas County, Florida, through regulatory measures designed and intended to reduce personal injury and property damage and minimize the possibility of fires and the creation of fire hazards; and
WHEREAS, by the adoption of this ordinance, it is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners of Pinellas County, Florida, to facilitate the enforcement of the statutory provision of Chapter 791, Florida Statutes.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA THAT THE PINELLAS COUNTY CODE IS AMENDED AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Section 62-81 of the Pinellas County Code is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 62-81. Definitions.
Authority – “Authority” shall mean the Pinellas County Fire Authority.
As used herein, the terms “fireworks”, “sparklers”, “retailer”, “wholesaler”, “distributor”, and “manufacturer” shall have the same meaning as specified in Section 791.01, Florida Statutes as it may, from time to time, be amended.
As used herein “seller” shall refer to either a wholesaler or retailer as appropriate to the context of the transaction.
Section 2. Section 62-82 of the Pinellas County Code is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 62-82 Penalties for violation of this Division.
Violations of this division shall be punishable and its requirements enforced as provided under Sec. 1-8 of this Code. Violations shall subject an offender to arrest pursuant to Florida Statues, §901.15 and prosecution pursuant to Florida Statutes, §125.69. These sanctions are in addition to any criminal penalty which is available under the provisions of Chapter 791, Florida Statutes.
The law enforcement agency having jurisdiction has the authority to immediately order the cessation of the sale of fireworks at any business or location that is selling fireworks without all required permits until such time as corrective action is taken and the missing permits are obtained. Upon notification by the appropriate law enforcement agency that sales are to cease, the seller shall take appropriate action to secure its fireworks inventory immediately and to prevent the further sale by securing the fireworks in an appropriate off premises locked facility that meets State and Local Fire Code standards. As an alternative to securing the fireworks off site, the business may cease operations until such time as the required permits are obtained and during this time store the inventory on site if the location is secure and meets State and Local Fire Code requirements. It shall be the obligation of the seller to ensure that adequate security is in place during any period they cease operations. Prior to resuming the sale of fireworks, the seller shall notify the Authority of its intent to resume sales and of the corrective action taken.
If a seller has been convicted of a violation of this division or of Chapter 791, Florida Statutes and within 12 months of that conviction is convicted again of a violation of this division or of Chapter 791, Florida Statutes, its permit to sell fireworks under Sec. 62-89 shall be suspended. The suspension shall be in addition to any sanction otherwise available under State law or this Code. The first suspension shall be for a period of 14 days. In the event of any successive conviction of a violation of this ordinance or the provisions of Chapter 791, F.S. occurring within 24 months of a suspension of permit under this section, the seller’s permit to sell fireworks shall be suspended for a period of 30 days. Upon notification of a suspension of the permit to sell fireworks, the seller shall immediately remove their fireworks inventory from their premises and store them in a secure offsite location which meets all appropriate State and Local Fire codes. Alternatively, the seller may cease operations during the period of suspension if their premises are secure and otherwise meet the requirements of Local and State fire codes.
For purposes of this Division, a conviction includes the payment of the assessed fine by not contesting the notice of violation where there is no court appearance.
Parents or Guardians are responsible for the violations of minors.
(Ord. No. 86-9, § 8, 2-11-86)
Section 3. Section 62-84 of the Pinellas County Code is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 62-84. Storage and sale of Sparklers.
Sparklers shall be stored and sold in the unincorporated and incorporated areas of the county in accordance with the zoning laws, fire prevention code, license laws of the county and permits issued by the local fire official having jurisdiction and all other state and local laws
All manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers of sparklers shall be registered with the State Division of Fire Marshall pursuant to Section 791.015, Florida Statutes.
A retailer of sparklers shall be required to comply with the provisions of Section 791.01, Florida Statutes.
(Ord. No. 86-9, § 2, 2-11-86)
Section 4. Section 62-85 of the Pinellas County Code is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 62-85. Prohibition of Fireworks; Exceptions; Permits and Regulations.
Except as provided in Sections 791.02, 791.04, or 791.07, Florida Statutes, or under division 2 of this article, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, partnership, or corporation to offer for sale at wholesale or retail, expose for sale at wholesale or retail, or use or explode any fireworks within the county.
The Authority shall develop an affidavit which all sellers of fireworks within the County shall use to determine the entitlement of any purchaser at retail or wholesale to buy fireworks.
The purchaser of any fireworks must furnish to the seller, at the time of sale, proof of identification and, if applicable, proof that the purchaser is registered with the Division of the State Fire Marshal and is otherwise in compliance with Chapter 791, Florida Statutes. The seller shall retain a copy of any proof of registration presented.
The seller must maintain an on-site record of all sales, including the name and address of each purchaser, the form of the purchaser’s identification presented along with any unique identifier associated with that identification (e.g. drivers license number), and, where required, proof of registration and compliance with Chapter 791, Florida Statutes. If the seller determines that registration under Chapter 791 is not required, then the basis for such exception or exemption shall be recorded on a form approved by the Authority.
Any person, firm, partnership, or corporation who is not registered with the Division of the State Fire Marshal and who, pursuant to Section 791.04, Florida Statutes, purchases fireworks for shipment directly out of the state, shall not be allowed to take possession of such fireworks. The seller shall retain the possession of such fireworks and shall be responsible for shipping all fireworks purchased to the purchaser or other recipient at an out-of-state point of delivery.
Any person, firm, partnership or corporation who, pursuant to rules promulgated by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services under Section 791.07, Florida Statutes, purchases firecrackers for frightening birds must provide to the seller a copy of the statement that has been filed with and stamped as received by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office pursuant to the rules prescribed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The seller shall be required to maintain the stamped copy of the statement in addition to the information required in paragraph 4 above.
The purchaser of fireworks to be used by a railroad or other transportation agency must provide a copy of the business license or other government issued document evidencing that the purchaser is a legitimate railroad or transportation agency. A commercial drivers license, by itself, does not meet the requirements of this section. A copy of this document must be maintained by the seller.
The purchaser of fireworks to be used in quarrying or for blasting or other industrial use must produce a copy of the quarry or mine permit or business license or other governmentally issued document showing that the purchaser is operating a mine, quarry or other industrial enterprise. The seller shall maintain a copy of this proof and note the use for which the fireworks shall be used. The seller shall also record the location where the fireworks will be used.The purchaser of fireworks to be used in a public display such as those authorized under Division 2 of this Section, must produce a copy of the current permit from a county or municipality and the seller must keep a copy of this permit with the record of sale.
All appropriate local and state permits, registrations, certificates and licenses must be displayed at each retail, wholesale, distributing, or manufacturing site.
The seller must maintain copies of the records required by this chapter at the location where the sale took place for a period of four years from the date of the sale. If the location of the sale was in a temporary facility, the records must be maintained at that site for the duration of the existence of the temporary facility and thereafter for the remainder of the four years in a location within Pinellas County which location shall be listed on the application for the permit from the Authority. These records must be available and provided immediately upon request for inspection by Fire or Law Enforcement officials. In the event that the sales location, other than a temporary site, closes or moves, the records required by this section to be retained must be stored at a location in Pinellas County where they will be readily available for inspection by the Authority, Fire Officials or Law Enforcement. The seller shall advise the authority of any change in the location of these records.
(Ord. No. 86-9, § 3, 2-11-86)
Section 5. Section 62-89 of the Pinellas County Code is hereby created to read as follows:
Sec. 62-89. Fire Authority to Issue Permits Governing the Sale of Fireworks.
1. The Fire Authority is authorized to issue permits which shall be required for all sales of fireworks within Pinellas County subject to the limitations of Sec. 62-83.
2. Any person, firm, partnership, or corporation engaging in the sale, at retail or wholesale, or in the distributing or manufacturing of fireworks must first apply for and secure a permit from the Authority. This requirement is in addition to any licensing or permitting required by any municipality. Any sale of fireworks without first obtaining a permit is a violation of this Division.
3. In order to obtain a permit, the applicant, must provide proof of compliance with all State and Federal regulations regarding the storage, display for sale and sale of fireworks at each location listed on the application.
4. The application for such permit shall include proof that the applicant is registered with the Division of the State Fire Marshal as a wholesaler, distributor or manufacturer of fireworks pursuant to Section 791.015, Florida Statutes, and shall be accompanied by a permit fee in an amount to be established by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners which may be set in an amount sufficient to pay for the cost of regulatory requirements of this ordinance.
5. The applicant must show evidence of Financial Responsibility pursuant to Sec. 62-90.
6. The applicant must disclose the name and address of all persons or entities having an interest (financial, security or otherwise) in the inventory that will be offered for sale.
7. Each location at which the applicant intends to display fireworks for sale or sell fireworks must be listed on the application. The application must also list the name of the manager in charge of each location and their address. The permit shall be issued in the name of the applicant only and shall not be transferable.
8. The application for the permit shall also list the nature of any other sales or business operations of the applicant which are to take place at the permitted premises.
9. Once a permit is issued, the permit holder shall have a continuing obligation to notify the Authority of any change in the information set forth in the application for the permit including, but not limited to any changes in physical address closure of the permit holders operations at any location where the permit holder does business in Pinellas County.
10. As a condition of maintaining the permit, the permit holder must comply with all Federal, State and Local regulations governing the sale and storage of fireworks, and must maintain all necessary permits required by Federal, State or Local law, ordinance or regulation. The permit holder must also comply with the record keeping provisions of this division.
11. The Authority is authorized to issue Temporary Fireworks Sales Permits which shall be in force for a period not to exceed 90 days and Annual Fireworks Sales Permits which shall remain in effect for no longer than 12 months.
Section 6. Section 62-90 of the Pinellas County Code is hereby created to read as follows:
Sec. 62-90. Evidence of Financial Responsibility.
In furtherance of the provisions of Sec 62-88, all sellers of fireworks, must keep in force an insurance policy showing general, comprehensive, liability and property damage insurance coverage on an occurrence basis with minimum limits in the policy of not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) combined single limit coverage for each loss that may result from the activities of the sellers. Sellers must maintain Workers’ Compensation coverage as required pursuant to Chapter 440, Florida Statutes. A failure to maintain this required coverage after the procurement of a permit shall be a violation of this Division and grounds for suspension of their permit from the Authority and the sale of the permitted goods as set forth in Sec 62-82 shall cease until such time as the required insurance is obtained.
Section 7. Section 62-91 of the Pinellas County Code is hereby created to read as follows:
Sec. 62-91. Severability.
If any Section, Subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or provision of this Ordinance is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any Court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not be construed to render the remaining provisions of this Ordinance invalid or unconstitutional.
Secs. 62-92--62-95. Reserved.
Section 8. Amendment of Proposed Ordinance at Public Hearing.
If any section, subsection, clause or provision of this ordinance as proposed to be amended, added, or deleted by majority vote of the Commission as a result of matters raised at the public hearing or in consultation with responsible authorities, then such amendments, additions, or deletions shall be validly adopted without additional advertisement or hearing.
Section 9. Effective Date.
The provisions of this ordinance shall become effective upon filing of a certified copy of this ordinance with the Department of State but in no event prior to September 1, 2003.
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