Council Approves Ban On Sale, Possession of Fireworks - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Council Approves Ban On Sale, Possession of Fireworks

LAWTON, Okla._ The sale and possession of fireworks within city limits here will go into effect July 6. 

The discharge of fireworks is already banned in Lawton. The new ordinance was approved at tonight's city council meeting in a 6-2 vote.

Previously, the sale of fireworks was allowed in the 11 days leading up to the Fourth of July holiday but after next year all sales will be illegal. The council took into consideration the inventory of the firework retailers. Many of them have already purchased a large number of explosives for the upcoming season.

Council member Dwight Tanner was vocal in his opposition. He stated that if the council bans fireworks, they might as well follow suite and ban cigarettes, alcohol, and guns, all of which he claims are a public safety hazard just like fireworks.  

Keith Herriage is the owner of King Fireworks Inc., one of Lawton's biggest firework retailers. He says this ban will effect 40 percent of his business.

Retailers brought in a little less than $6,000 last year, according to the council. The manpower used to put out fires started by fireworks and clean-up costs counteract the money made, however, according to Fire Marshal Mark Mitchell.

"The city is incurring the expense of somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000 a year," said Mitchell.

Fireworks will now be classified as contraband under the new ordinance and officers can seize them at any time if they are found within city limits.

Council member Richard Zarle also voted against the ban but did not come up with a revised motion. The original proposal was then approved. 

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