Lexington fireworks ordinance advances to Urban County Council

Sales would be limited to 3 weeks, not all year

ksheridan@herald-leader.comOctober 20, 2011 

A proposed fireworks ordinance would curtail their usage to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. most days.

The Lexington Urban County Council's Public Safety Committee voted Tuesday to forward a fireworks ordinance to the full council.

The ordinance would restrict the sale of fireworks to three weeks a year. Currently, they can be sold year-round. It would also limit the use of fireworks to the hours between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., with exceptions for New Year's Eve and Fourth of July celebrations, when people would be allowed to shoot off fireworks until midnight.

The ordinance also would specify penalties for users and sellers who violate the ordinance. The minimum fine for those lighting fireworks illegally would be $100, increasing to $250 for the second offense and $500 for subsequent offenses.

The ordinance includes provisions relating to litter and minors possessing fireworks.

"The big thing is, we don't have a fireworks law now," Councilman Kevin Stinnett said. "This is a first attempt, and if things don't get better this year, we can make it tougher."

The ordinance passed the committee with only one "no" vote, from Vice Chairman Doug Martin.

"I just didn't hear many people in my district supporting this," he said.

Martin said he supported an outright ban of fireworks of a certain size, an option currently granted to local governments by state law. He said he thinks the fireworks ordinance will be harder for police to enforce than an outright ban.

The Urban County Council is expected to consider the ordinance at its meeting Tuesday.

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