Year-round sales of small fireworks clears House panel; Senate-passed bill ready for House consideration

Senate-passed legislation that would allow year-round sales of consumer fireworks and novelties, such as ground or hand-held sparklers and party poppers, is headed to the full House for consideration.  On Tuesday, Feb. 23, the House Insurance Committee amended and approved SB55 by Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, which the Alabama Senate had approved Feb. 11.

The bill allows the cities of Mobile and Birmingham to ban the sale of consumer fireworks.

SB55 increases various fees for fireworks vendors and users. The permit cost for both annual and seasonal retailers selling certain fireworks would increase from $200 to $300. There also is a range of permit costs based on the type of fireworks sold. According to the bill’s fiscal note, it would increase receipts to the State Fire Marshal’s Fund by an estimated $53,000 annually.

It allows the State Fire Marshal to increase fees every five years based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers. The increase cannot exceed 2% annually.

The House Insurance Committee also approved HB386 by Rep. Kerry Rich, R-Albertville, which the committee amended to be identical to SB55. Another similar bill, HB205, also by Rich, has been assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

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