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       Fireworks Task Force On-Line Comments
                                  11/9/07-12/19/07



1. I don't understand why we allow the lawless to control the lives of the law abiding.
   Experts (and real life examples)have demonstrated the danger of explosive devices.
   They have been proven to be a danger and should remain so, regardless of the amount
   of money the fireworks industry spends to try to protect their personal pocketbooks
   with great disregard to citizens.
       --Tom Powers

2. My name is Paul Nevels and I am the Fire Marshal for Marion County Fire Rescue. I
   am pleased that the Task Force is reviewing the use of fireworks and applaud what
   appears the sincere effort to solve the ongoing confusion regarding fireworks in
   Florida. It is my experience that the use of fireworks in the hands of the genera l
   public increases each year. This increase has resulted in additional fires, injuries,
   complaints and confusion among public safety agencies and the public. I increasingly
   see the rampant use of firecrackers and bottle rockets in the hands of minors; resulting
   in wild land and structure fires... not to mention injuries. Our goal is the safety and
   well being of the citizens we are expected to protect. I encourage the task force to
   resolve the confusion and make specific recommendations which result in safe and
   enforceable laws for the entire state.
       --Paul Nevels
       Marion County Fire Rescue

3. Dear Task Force Members: Prevent Blindness Florida supports the development and
   enforcement of bans on the importation, sale and use of all fireworks and sparklers,
   except those used in authorized public displays by competent licensed operators, as
   the only effective means of eliminating the social and economic impact of fireworks-
   related trauma and damage. Prevent Blindness Florida supports model legislation that
   permits the public display of fireworks under controlled conditions by trained and
   licensed personnel, but bans the importation, general sale and indiscriminate use of all
   other types of fireworks by adults and children including consumer fireworks and
   sparklers. Prevent Blindness Florida makes these recommendations: -The state of
   Florida should adopt a uniform model law that would restrict the sale and the use of
   fireworks. This law would include laws banning the use of consumer fireworks
   known as Class C or 1.4G and all types of sparklers, and establishing codes for public
   fireworks displays. -Health care practitioners and local authorities should consistently
   report any fireworks or sparkler-related injuries, property damages and deaths. -All
   organizations and agencies concerned with the safety of the American public should
   intensify educational efforts to inform adults and children about the hazards
   associated with the use of all types of fireworks and sparklers. Thank you for your
   consideration of our position on this critical issue of safety for all Floridians.
   Sincerely, Jay Tobin, CFRE President & CEO Prevent Blindness Florida 1112 E.
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   Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33602 E- mail: jtobin@preventblindnessfl.org Phone: 813-
   874-2020, ext. 104
      --Jay Tobin
      Prevent Blindness Florida

4. All the government is bored. Find something better to do with our tax dollars than a
   fire-cracker. Than a FIRECRACKER CRACKDOWN. Move on please.
       --Aaron Thomas

5. I hope that fireworks do become legal in Florida. My family and I look forward to the
   4th of July every year. We love the fact that we are able to put on a show for
   ourselves as well as our neighbors. The 4th is a day of celebration and I can't think of
   a better way to celebrate with my loved ones. I hope this committee will not take
   away my freedom to celebrate our independence in this way.
       --Frank Miranda

6. When are people going to take personal responsibility for their actions? Someone is
   injured using a consumer grade (CPSC and AFSL Approved)firework, is it the
   firework's fault? No! It is the users fault. Banning fireworks because someone has
   misused it is as brilliant as banning the use of automobiles because people get hurt in
   them. Rarely is it the automobiles fault that people got hurt. Same goes for fireworks.
   If fireworks were legalized and laws put in place govern them better including stricter
   penalties for misuse. I can guarantee there would be less injuries and property
   damage. You wouldn't give your child alcohol right? Why? Because you know you'll
   get in hot water. Same principals apply here. People like Mr. Welch just want to treat
   us like children, "No! You can't use fireworks, you'll shoot your eye out!". I'm a
   grown responsible adult, I can use fireworks safely, responsibly and with
   consideration for my neighbors. I don't need you to tell me what I can and can't do. I
   thought the whole point of FREEDOM was to pursue a life of happiness, so long as it
   doesn't infringe someone else's right to the same. In closing I'm going to quote Ben
   Franklin in his infinite wisdom "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a
   little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety! " -T.C. Downey
   Independent Sound Mind
        --Terrence C. Downey

7. It is beyond the pale of human comprehension how a group of people such as
   yourselves as a CONSUMER task force for the State of Florida would have in your
   decision- making body a representative of the Fireworks industry as well as a member
   who is not a resident of Florida! Is this not the epitome of conflict of interest? As a
   Florida consumer, a patriot and a person who certainly enjoys the beauty and
   excitement of professional firework displays, I am most concerned about the other
   side of the coin. To legalize the use of fireworks by anyone at any time and place is to
   put our citizens and their livestock and pets at undue and uncalled for risk of harm.
   Neighborhood "fun" and "personal entertainment" is not a freedom but behavioral
   "license" at the expense of others. How many children must be hurt by the well or ill-
   intentioned amateur pyrotechnics before this would be all too obvious to the members
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   of your task force? Certainly a child's fingers or eyes should have more value to each
   of you than the need for the fireworks industry to market their products to the
   unskilled on every corner throughout the state. I have personal experience from living
   in two separate neighborhoods where supposed "legal" fireworks have included bottle
   rockets which have shot onto our property, in each case terrifying our horses into a
   running frenzy, causing injury. Our dogs were frightened enough to run off to escape
   their fears were it not for the fact that they were hastily confined. And how do you
   intend to protect citizens from the risk of fire to their properties when these fireworks
   are used with irresponsible abandon without concern for where they land and their
   potential for damage? Are you each prepared to be fiscally responsible to the
   resulting lawsuits by those who have had losses due to your decision-making
   processes should they be made not to protect the citizens but, rather, cater to the
   business interests of the fireworks industry? You each have a chance to make a
   difference for the good, a difference FOR safety, a difference for standing for
   common sense, for what is morally and ethically correct. Please make that choice.
   Make that choice in a world that is increasingly becoming more pointed toward
   numerous so-called "freedoms" which, in fact, are deceitfully clad cases of licentious
   insanities borne by the few who want to profit over or control the many.
       --Penn Herbert
       A member of Sun Country Trail Blazers

8. The Task Force seems to be coming to agreement on some currently illegal fireworks,
   subject to certain "conditions". How do you propose these conditions be enforced?
   The Current state statute is not being enforced. How can you think or believe the
   "conditions" will be enforced? All you are doing is giving the fireworks industry
   more "loopholes" to take advantage of. Less than 10% of the citizens in Florida use
   fireworks. People want them out of neighborhoods. You must give Law Enforcement
   some tools to work with. Make possession of illegal fireworks subject to a large fine.
       --Wofford Johnson

9. I feel the sale of fireworks in the state of Florida should continue to be allowed. They
   are sold in other states with no reprocution. I have traveled to Florida many times to
   purchase fire works. I stay there for at least a week or more and spend a lot of money
   there. I do not use fire works in that state. I take them where they are allowed to be
   used.
       -- Anonymous

10. I wish to commend the members of this committee for their hard work and displaying
    the ability to sit down with others of different views in an effort to form a coherent,
    safe and fair approach to Florida's existing fireworks codes. While I am definitely
    pro-firework in my views, I temper that enthusiasm with the knowledge that those
    charged with protecting the public from themselves have an incredibly difficult task.
    It is understandable for those in the public safety sector to be coaxed towards simply
    banning all fireworks usage in the state. I must point out that such an approach will
    only increase the number of injuries from illegal explosives. Once access to legal
    (government controlled and tested) fireworks is removed from Floridians, they will
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   surely resort to locating illegal explosives on the black market. This is exactly what
   has happened in other states when the fireworks laws were changed. So, while the
   quick fix on the part of public safety officials may appear to be illegalization of all
   fireworks; in reality this course of action will result in more injuries as the state's
   means of control will be removed. Our already overburdened police and fire
   personnel have much better things to worry about, please do not make their jobs
   needlessly more difficult.
       --David Heasley

11. Today's fireworks are a healthy, safe form of celebration for a number of things.
    When used properly, enjoyment can be had by all. It's those few idiots that make
    fireworks unsafe by having roman candle fights and shooting rockets at each other.
    The majority use fireworks safely and shouldn't be deprived their rights to celebrate
    their patriotism and happiness.
        --Joe Mele

12. Please do not ban fireworks. I believe fireworks are a fantastic way of showing
    patriatism throughout our country.
        --Michelle Denofa
        Phantom Fireworks

13. I am opposed to the use and selling of fireworks to consumers that explode and leave
    the ground. Not only are they loud, the bottle rockets land on my house. Sparklers
    stay in your yard, explosive fireworks do not. Because anyone can buy these
    explosive fireworks, I had to ask the neighbor down the street to stop letting his 10
    year boy set off firecrackers. It was past 10pm on a weeknight. Now my neighbor is
    mad at me.
        --Stephanie Murray

14. I oppose legalization of fireworks. They are unsafe and hazardous.
        --Margaret

15. Fireworks are dangerous in the wrong hands as are GUNS/ATVs/Motorcycles and
    household appliances why should there be a ban on fireworks and NOT these
    things?? yes it's ridiculous to think a person can't get fireworks IF Florida bans them,
    nearby states offer them as do persons selling them out of the trunks of their cars.
    Responsible people that are respectful of dry conditions/neighbors/bedtimes etc. and
    use safety precautions shouldn't be denied the FREEDOM of the beauty of a
    fireworks celebration. I strongly hope that the state does the right thing protecting
    OUR FREEDOM as opposed to yet another AMERICAN choice being taken from
    US. Thank you....John Goodno Clearwater Florida
        --John Goodno

16. Banning the use of fireworks, which is only used two times out of the year would
    only cause more problems. If someone really wants to use fireworks, they are going
    to find a way no matter what. I do not agree that everyone should be punished for the
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   very few individuals that misuse fireworks. The consumer fireworks industry does
   everything in their power to teach safety in the handling and usage of fireworks. It is
   not fare to the firework industry and they should not be kept from selling to the
   people that are using fireworks safely. Thank you- Lindsey
       --Lindsey

17. What's a Birthday without cake and presents, what's Halloween without costumes and
    candy, what's Thanksgiving without turkey and football, What's Christmas without a
    tree and lights, WHATS THE 4th OF JULY AND N EW YEARS WITHOUT
    FIREWORKS? They aint ****!!! Lets be known as A STATE Who CELEBRATES
    OUR HISTORY! A state who is fair and is governed justly. A state who EDUCATES
    NOT DICTATES! LEGALIZE FIREWORKS IN FLORIDA. Mac-Town E, out!
        --Mac-Town E

18. LEGALIZE FIREWORKS in FLORIDA. Lets show the rest of the country that this
    state has responsible residents. Lets not let a few bad apples, (people who use
    fireworks improperly), spoil traditions that have been part of our heritage! Lets keep
    Florida THE GREAT STATE!
        --CMFC

19. If there was a way to stop stupid people, we would of figured it out by now. Stupid
    people buy guns, but guns are still for sale. Stupid people get into their cars, drink &
    drive and cause accidents, but alcohol is still for sale and bars are still open. When a
    life is lost, the driver or shooter is responsible. Why should the fireworks industry be
    responsible for the percentage of people who misuse fireworks or create their own
    which end up being explosives, which are not regulated and are much more
    dangerous. Explosives are VERY different from fireworks. People aren't fighting to
    stop the sale of Duracell batteries because stupid people are using battery acid to
    make crystal meth. I think there are way more problems out there to be spending time
    and money on, other than banning fireworks.
         --Meghan

20. KEEP FIREWORKS LEGAL IN FLORIDA!
      --Angie

21. Fireworks are responsibility. They can be fun for families. However, some families
    do not handle fireworks responsible. Instead of banding fireworks maybe we could
    have classes that citizens would be required to take before being allowed to purchase
    fireworks. We do that sort of thing now with fire arms and I think it has had positive
    results. So before banding fireworks maybe we can look further at what we can do to
    regulate the use of fireworks and protect people from dangers of fireworks.
        --Bruce Ambrose

22. I can't imagine why anyone would want to take away fireworks in this country.
    Fireworks are used by governmental agencies, as well as individuals for celebration
    of events. What would Fourth of July or New Year's Eve be without fireworks.
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   Although there are celebrations with fireworks all over the national, there is nothing
   like experiencing them in person. I say hogwash on getting rid of them in Florida. Let
   those that want to buy them and celebrate, let them. What we gonne stop next apple
   pie or hot dogs at baseball games.
       -- Anonymous

23. Fireworks are great. Everyone loves them. I believe that as long as you have proper
    safety while doing fireworks. You are fine. Fireworks like any thing else requires
    responsibility. Thanks
        --Ida
        Phantom Fireworks

24. PLEASE KEEP FIREWORKS LEGAL IN FLORIDA!
       --Lauren Crews

25. I believe that consumer grade fireworks should be legalized. Fireworks have been a
    great American tradition for many years. To celebrate or independence and the
    freedom of our great nation. To ban fireworks would only negate all of the blood,
    sweet and tears that this great nation has fought so very hard for. So may people do
    not understand the difference between consumer grade fireworks and illegal fireworks
    or explosive devices instead of pointing fingers at safety issues, wildfires, scaring
    animals, environmental issues and all of the other negative comments that have been
    made. There is a solution that can be made instead of having to create more laws to be
    broken or more loopholes. It is a lot less complicated than we have made it. All the
    campaign contributions, kick backs and pay offs and all the other propaganda that
    goes on that some of are not aware of or that just don't want to believe or admit that
    this happens then just keep your blinders on. After all this is a multimillion dollar
    business what do you expect. It saddens me to know that we have spent more time
    and money on this particular subject that many other issues that deserve so much
    more attention than fireworks, there are so many other things that are far more
    dangerous that fireworks. According to the product safety commission council they
    have stated that fireworks are safer now than they have ever been and that injuries
    have gone down significantly in the past few years as sales have increased. As an
    American citizen myself I hope that we will all wake up one day and realize the
    situation at hand and be able to create some type of actual balance in o ur legislative
    system and within our public community as well.
        --David
        Consumer

26. I personally enjoy fireworks and think that they should continue to be legal. Just like
    other things if people use common sense they do not have a problem with them. We
    should keep fireworks legal.
        --Beth Davis
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27. Fireworks are to be respected and enjoyed, like anything else parents need to watch
    over their children and educate them re: dangers. They are magical and enjoyed from
    toddlers on up. It is our FREEDOM to make these decisions.
        --M. J. Speicher

28. I believe that if certain counties in this state want to illegalize fireworks, they should
    debate that within their own respective counties. A handful of county leaders should
    not dictate law changes for an entire state - that is not the way our system of
    government is intended to work. I think the current state fireworks laws are outdated.
    In a lot of areas, the laws are not even enforced on July 4th and New Year's due to the
    fact that so many people use "illegal" fireworks. That, in and of itself, should be a
    strong indication that changes need to be made to legalize more types of consumer
    fireworks, instead of making them all illegal.
        --Matt Pappas

29. Using fireworks for home display is a very safe activity if the precautions printed on
    the labels and provided literature upon purchase is followed. For the amount of
    product purchased compared to the number of accidents, the accidents are hardly
    noteworthy. The task force should focus on education and prevention rather than
    restricting sales any further than they are. At best, maybe increase the minimum age
    for purchase.
        --Craig Kline
        Consumer

30. I am interested and concerned about the legislations being proposed for the use and
    legality of fireworks. How are Law Enforcement and Fire Services represented on
    your board? I see the industry is represented but not us who catch the blame and
    issues surrounding their use. On Holidays we are inundated with calls about illegal
    fireworks and legal fireworks not to mention the complaints about trash and usually
    minor injuries that never end up in hospitals. I am sure if you check with every police
    agency you will find numerous calls in just a few hours about the nuisance on
    holidays such as the 4th of July, and New Years.
        --Colonel A. F. May
        St. Johns County Sheriff's Office

31. I would just like to add my name to the list of people who are opposed to fireworks
    being legalized for year-round use. I live in an area where there's a lot of money
    wasted on celebrations - not just holidays - but any time there's a reason to celebrate.
    If fireworks were sold year round, I'm sure we would have them going off around
    here several times a week - someone's birthday, promotion, graduation, etc.
    Walking on my street on July 5th or New Year's Day is a most d isgusting sight.
    There are spent fireworks everywhere and even some that aren't spent. No one comes
    back later to clean anything up. My horses are in a barn where they feel safe during
    these celebrations and they don't have the reactions that other people's horses have.
    Many people around here with horses don't have shelter for them and those horses are
    the ones who are in danger of running through fences and getting hurt. The horses
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   probably think someone is shooting at them and their normal fleeing instinct takes
   over. I know I can speak for the horse owners in my area in saying that we love our
   horses dearly and will do what we can to fight for their safety and for them to feel
   safe. Home based fireworks are unsafe for humans as well as animals but we'll save
   that discussion for another time. Thank you, Amy Blanchard Eustis, Lake County,
   Florida
       --Amy Blanchard

32. Keep fireworks legal in Florida!!!!
       --Geri Noll

33. Keep fireworks legal!! It is impossible to picture celebrations such as New Years and
    the Fourth of July without them. They are an American tradition and should continue
    to be so.
        --Joel Combs

34. At the November membership meeting of SPAHA (Sunset Park Area Homeowners
    Association) the membership voted unanimously to oppose any attempts to make
    consumer fireworks legal in Florida. SPAHA has over 275 active members and is
    located in Tampa. The membership wants the state statute regarding fireworks to be
    strengthened. All purchasers of "exploding or aerial" fireworks must be required to
    obtain a permit. In addition, the proposal to allow the current illegal fireworks be used
    at designated shooting areas is ludicrous. This gives the fireworks industry another
    loophole to allow them to continue to sale their illegal product. People will not drive
    several miles to shoot fireworks in the middle of other amateurs setting off fireworks.
    They will continue to use them in their backyards. Keep our children, our homes and
    our animals safe by keeping fireworks illegal, and please give our law enforcement
    officers a way to enforce the current law by requiring a permit to purchase all
    fireworks, except sparklers. Marlin Anderson, President Sunset Park Area
    Homeowners Association Tampa, Fl
        --Marlin Anderson
        Sunset Park Area Homeowners Association

35. I feel that the legalization of fireworks is actually the safest course of action for the
    state to take. With the legalization this would considerable cut down on the numbers
    of injuries inflicted every year by "bootleg" devices like those known as M-80s and
    "Block Busters" which are in fact not fireworks at all. All fireworks designated as
    1.4G by the DOT and approved by the CSPC and the AFSL have been over the past
    20 plus years proven to have reduced TRUE firework related injuries by over 70%
    while usage of these items has increased by 2 1/2 times. Logically this means if
    people were able to purchase and use these items safely and responsibly it would
    reduce the number of incidents involving non-firework devices and would continue to
    lower the number of injuries even more. Thank you for your time... Sincerely, Rick
    Calabrese
        --Rick Calabrese
        Fireworks sales
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36. This letter is to inform the Florida Consumer Fireworks Task Force Committee and to
    all Florida Legislators that I do NOT support the legalizing of ANY aerial or
    exploding fireworks, including but not exclusive to the already illegal fireworks
    outlined in the "Fireworks and Sparkler Enforcement: Law Enforcement and
    Inspections Guide" provided to the State of Florida through the Division of State Fire
    Marshal. My position is that these types of fireworks pose a vast health and safety
    risk to the entire general public; especially to children. The current record of
    thousands of injuries to people, and recorded deaths, should be one major factor to
    further banning fireworks here in Florida. I, as a member of Sun Country Trail
    Blazers Horse Riding Club, want to point out another major danger that affects all
    horses, and the effect on the equine industry here in Florida. These neighborhood or
    backyard displays have caused irreversible health conditions, and life-threatening
    injuries such as broken legs, deep lacerations, colic, laminitis and untold trauma for
    these unsuspecting animals. The death toll mounts with horses, as these aerial and
    exploding fireworks are becoming more prevalent in rural areas, and with no suitable
    and enforceable laws to stop this. One of my horses was hurt running around during
    fireworks that were shot off in the air over 2 miles away from my farm. This has cost
    me a great deal of money to bring this horse back to good health. Question: Who do
    we send the doctor bills to for present and future horse injuries to my horses and other
    horses? These equine incidents are being reported from all sectors of Florida, are
    directly attributed to the use of these products. This is a public safety issue and with
    this substantiated proof, whether for human, or animals, these should not be allowed
    to remain available to the general public, and legalized in Florida. I support
    strengthening Florida Statue 791, to protect not only the citizens of Florida, but also
    our horses and our equine industry that contributes billions of dollars to Florida's
    economy. I appreciate that this ongoing Florida Consumer Fireworks Task Force
    Committee and all the Florida Legislators consider my stance in this matter, and
    would act accordingly.
         --Dick Stockmaster
         Sun Country Trail Blazers

37. THAN (Tampa Homeowners, An Association of Neighborhoods) discussed the
    Florida fireworks law at our monthly meeting on November 14. THAN is the
    umbrella group for all Homeowner and Neighborhood associations in the City of
    Tampa. There are 43 associations currently active under the THAN umbrella. The
    individual associations range from 200 members to over 1000 members. By
    unanimous vote at the November 14th meeting the associations agreed they wanted
    exploding fireworks to remain illegal and they want greater law enforcement of the
    current law. They also want all purchasers of fireworks to obtain permits to show they
    are eligible to purchase fireworks under the State fireworks laws. Note: Our members
    do not object to professional fireworks displays. Statistics show that consumer
    fireworks are an extremely hazardous product causing thousands of injuries and fires
    every year. In addition, they cause undue physical trauma to humans and to animals.
    There are many ways for individuals to celebrate New Years and to show their
    patriotism on the Fourth of July, without creating a hazard and a nuisance to their
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   neighbors. Please take action to end this archaic practice. Wofford Johnson, President
   THAN Tampa, Fl
       --Wofford Johnson
       THAN

38. After reading several comments a majority of which are valid and some of which
    don't make any sense what so ever. Fireworks do pose a danger just like automobiles
    and guns, but both are regulated and safety courses as well as other safety measures
    have to be observed before either item is used. Example there are strict penalties in
    place if I am caught behind the wheel of a vehicle without a state issued license that
    proves I have met the necessary requirements to legally and safely drive a car and the
    same goes for buying a gun. There are always people who will disobey the law
    because they feel that they are above the law or feel that the law is an invasion of
    their rights. My point is this if fireworks are outlawed its just going to leave room for
    chaos, because there is no way that we will be able to truly ban fireworks people are
    going to purchase and shoot them one way or another and we don't have the funding
    nor the man power to police that kind of activity on top of the other things such as
    burglaries, vandalism, armed robberies, DUI's, and other issues that are a greater
    cause of fatalities, injuries, and property damage. Instead what should be done is that
    we should legalize fireworks with similar restrictions that we have for automobiles
    and/or firearms and of course impose strict penalties for those who try to skirt the
    law. Me personally if I want to put on a fireworks show you damn well bet that I will
    be willing to do whatever necessary to make my show as safe as possible and be
    considerate for those around me, such examples are taking the necessary safety
    courses, applying for the necessary licenses, and once my show is complete make
    sure that whatever fireworks debris whether it is mine or not that is within a
    reasonable vicinity of my house or where I shot the firework show in accordance with
    the law as a designated safe zone I am going to clean up. I would even be willing to
    go around to my neighbors that may be affected b y my display to let them know of
    my intentions and show them that I completed the necessary safety courses and have
    taken the necessary precautions and invite them over to my show if they want.
    Fireworks are not only part of Americana, but can also be a good community event
    especially for those unfortunate people who can't make it to the big shows or don't
    want to have to deal with all the hassles of attending a big show, which in essence are
    no safer than an individual show accidents happen at big shows as well and people
    get hurt but we don't ban professional shows. You will always have Murphy's law in
    anything you do in life that is dangerous fireworks are no different.
        --David Petruzzella

39. Continuation from my previous comment. One thing that always disappoints me
    about government is that they are always trying to take the easy way out by making
    things illegal instead of trying to find ways to control, regulate, and make it safe. The
    government has better things to do than protect us from ourselves and to all those
    whom posted comments of youth injuries and fatalities the parents are no better than
    the child because if your not of legal age to drive, drink, gamble, or vote you should
    be no where near fireworks that's my 2 sense.
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       --David Petruzzella

40. Tampa Fireworks Association, Inc. 204 E. Martin L. King Jr. Blvd. Tampa, Fl. 33603
    813-234-2264 November 26, 2007 Honorable Michelle Berger Mr. Rickey Lee
    Farrell Mr. Tommy Glasgow Mr. Les Hallman Mr. Michael Long Mr. Trey McCarley
    Mr. Ira Schwartz Honorable Ken Welch Re.: Public Comments Dear Madam and
    Sirs: Again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you
    for your time and willingness to serve on the Task Force. That being said, I would
    like to comment on the "Public Comments" that are available for viewing on your
    website. It appears that the majority of the comments received to date are in favor of
    preserving the right to purchase and use consumer fireworks throughout the State. A
    large majority of these responses are also in favor of doing away with any exemptions
    (or forms) and fully legitimatizing all consumer fireworks throughout the State of
    Florida. A move such as this would also allow a system of added charges or user fees
    that could provide funding for firefighter training programs and possibly aid in
    cleanup efforts at the local levels. It also appears that the majority of those comments
    that are anti- fireworks were due to acts committed by a very small minority of the
    users of consumer fireworks. While none of the members of our industry condone the
    misuse of our products by these minorities, we feel that this is not an issue that should
    lead to the outlawing of consumer fireworks. After all, we are supposed to live in a
    society where the majority of the citizens shouldn't have to pay for the bad actions of
    the few. The consumer fireworks industry continues to emphasize safety and (sober)
    adult supervision when using the products that we sell. Most industry members
    ensure that safety brochures are available and passed on to the public at the point of
    purchase, and further emphasize that there are fireworks safety tips available online
    as well. The industry also has access to public service materials that can be made
    available to communities in an added effort to promote the safety and responsible use
    of consumer fireworks. I would like to close with the statement that, no matter how
    hard we try, legislation cant be drafted that ensures that a person use common sense
    when they use consumer fireworks. But we can ensure that the public is better
    educated, both in safe use practices and use guidelines, in an effort to reduce the
    number of incidents and injuries to the public. I would again like to take this
    opportunity to thank everyone for their service in this Task Force. I would ask that if
    you have any questions that our Association may answer for you, please contact me at
    the number noted above, or via email at galaxyfire@aol.com . Sincerely, Patrick
    Cook Industry Liaison
        --Patrick Cook
        Tampa Fireworks Association

41. I think that the sales and use of fireworks in this state is not only economically
    healthy, it is ritualistically the "backbone" of many American traditions that have
    been past along for centuries. Among these celebrations the are the fourth of July
    which fireworks render a peaceful demonstration of what it must have sounded like
    during the revolutionary war which began our country's independence from England.
    There's new years eve where each glorious display of firework and each sound that is
    heard ignites something in the human spirit that reminds us that we have made it
                                                                                        12


   through yet another year. There are half time shows of sports games as well as many
   other celebrations of other countries such as Cinco De Mayo which translates as "5th
   of May" in remembrance and celebration of Mexico's ability to overcome their
   struggles. I admit that I don't know the legal implications that evolve around the sale
   and use of fireworks in our great state. However, the traditions of our nation, the
   social bonding and spiritual uplifting of the American people through the celebrating
   of the great moments of our nation's history should forever be preserved. Our rights to
   bear arm's as well as our rights to assemble are exercised through the efforts you great
   people have manifested over the years by providing the community families with
   their seldom used but most appreciated aspect of their character...and that is...to be
   children again. To celebrate with their children sharing those great moments hoping
   that someday their children's children will learn, love and enjoy what each generation
   has passed along with delight. In closing, whatever the situation may be, approach it,
   not only as the right to grow or sustain as a business in the state of Florida, but also
   the opportunity to protect and preserve each citizen's right to assemble in this great
   nation and our great state with pride each year to celebrate with fireworks being
   readily available! Gratefully Yours, Daryl Jones Ph#(813) 458-5548 Email:
   darylsdetailing@hotmail.com
       --Daryl Jones

42. Every year I spend money and time caring for animals, mostly horses who have been
    traumatized by my neighbors sporadic, weekly displays of fireworks. Yes I said
    weekly, because now we seem to think the forth of July is a week not a day. Same for
    New Years, birthdays, or what ever excuse for the inconsiderate blasting of rockets
    over my property and my horses. I finally had to call the police, who informed me
    that this was "legal" only on the day. After four days of calling they did get it
    stopped. Or maybe it was my visit to their house at 1:00 am threatening to hire a
    lawyer to recover damages caused by their stupidity. So I await Christmas, New
    Years, and the Forth of July with fear not joy. I find myself wishing they would blow
    a hand or head off when it starts up each time. Anything that can stop this should be
    done.
        --Wanda Kuester
        Summerset Farm

43. I would like to express my extreme opposition to the "legalization" of fireworks in
    Florida. In my mind it has been proven that citizens will not use them responsibly, as
    seen by the blatant use of them now, when they are illegal. I live in a suburban Palm
    Beach County community of 1.25 - 10 acre tracts that is almost completely built out.
    Over the 10 years that I have lived here, the use of Fireworks has grown
    exponentially with the growth in the neighborhood.
        -- Anonymous

44. I do own horses who are kept at home & can no longer attend 4th of July celebrations
    as I have to stay home on fire watch. My horses are not overly spooked by them but
    they are unsettled for weeks prior to & following the many holidays that Fireworks
    are used, since that is the period that they are exploded. On the actual holidays, the
                                                                                            13


   smoke is so thick around my house you can't see 200'. We always end up with bottle
   rockets & other debris in our yard. Several years ago (before the hurricanes) we spent
   $20K to replace our Cedar Shake roof with a metal one primarily because I was
   terrified of a bottle rocket landing on our roof & burning our house down. We live in
   a very wooded area, so my terror on these holidays hasn't been eased a great deal.
        -- Anonymous

45. I am extremely concerned about the effect of neighborhood fireworks on our animals,
    every year dogs & cats are lost by being scared away from home by the fireworks,
    and horses are injured by running through fences. But I am just as concerned about
    the safety of our children, the fire danger that this "recreational activity" presents, and
    the selfish & un-neighborly attitude that we teach the next generation by allowing this
    activity. It is noisy, bothersome, & creates an unhealthy environment for many
    people, so why allow it for a few??? The commercial displays are so much more
    beautiful - I wish I could go see them but I have to stay home to protect my property.
        -- Anonymous

46. Thank you for allowing us to collectively speak out on this issue!
       --Bany Cranmer
       Jupiter Farms

47. I am hearing that you plan to reduce the restrictions on Fireworks in FL!!! What are
    you all thinking? Fireworks can start fires. We are in a drought. We are already
    getting warnings about wildfires here in PB County... Fires cost a fortune!! Also, FL
    has areas that have livestock and horses in particular. Ocala, Wellington, Acreage,
    Jupiter Farms, Davie, Colusa just to name a few. Horses are a major industry in FL...
    and horses and fireworks do not mix. I have found bottle rockets in my pastures.. Had
    I had a horse out there... who knows. Every time fireworks are used I have to put my
    horse in the barn and close it up 100% and blast a radio. I know of horses who have
    been killed due to their reaction to fireworks. I hope you all reconsider this. There is
    no need for fireworks. They need to be outlawed 100%... but if that is too radical then
    at least don't make it easier to have unsafe fireworks. OH and let's not forget the kids
    and people who loose hands over this stupid practice.
         --Frances Mullane

48. We do NOT support the legalization of aerial or exploding fireworks outlined in the
    "Fireworks and Sparkler Enforcement Law Enforcement and Inspection Guide"
    provided to the State of Florida through the Division of State Fire Marshal. These
    types of fireworks pose a significant health and safety risk to the general public,
    especially children and unsuspecting animals, many of which have already suffered
    irreversible injuries including some which have resulted in death. The growing
    numbers of human and animal injuries and deaths throughout all Florida regions
    highlights a clear and present public safety issue directly attributed to the
    inappropriate and unskilled use of these products. There already is substantiated proof
    that these should not be allowed to remain available to the general public or legalized
    in Florida. We respectfully ask the Consumer Fireworks Task Force Committee and
                                                                                            14


   all Florida Legislators to strengthen, not weaken, regulations which protect Florida
   citizens and their animals from the perils of improper use of fireworks and sparklers
        --Cam Oberting, President
        Taylor Road Civic Association

49. I generally do not mind the fireworks and very much enjoy the private rockets bursts
    that go off in my north city of Tampa area and while I do not buy any my self
    normally I also know it better to sell them legally then make them illegal as fireworks
    were almost all illegal in NY which resulted in a huge black market sale of much
    more dangerous fireworks such as ashcan m-80s and blockbusters which are illegal
    anywhere in the USA but around the 4th you can find them all over the states that
    totally ban fireworks but not in any state were fire works are legal so by making them
    illegal in Florida we would just open our self up to much more dangerous and lethal
    fireworks
       --David Hardingham
       Ordinary homeowner

50. I would like to petition to stop the sale of private fireworks. I agree there are way too
    many amateurs trying to have a good time, but in the end hurt someone, themselves
    or helpless animals. These private fireworks individuals are just trying to make
    money and do not care if they are the result of injuries. Please stop the sales!!!!
      --Susan Felix

51. Fireworks are an age old tradition. In the right hands they are great fun. However, I
    understand in the wrong hands they can be a problem. Truth is, people are the
    problem not the fireworks. I am a responsible adult who enjoys fireworks a couple
    times a year. No task force should be able to decide if I can or can't buy them. That is
    un-AMERICAN!!! Don't punish me because some people can't handle responsibility.
      -- Anonymous

52. How about doing what the people of Florida want. That is allow all fireworks! It
    should be legal. There are better ways to spend the taxpayer dollar and people to force
    an unnecessary law. Thank you.
      --Jim Keiper

53. We definitely want fireworks in Florida! Please allow them to still be sold here so
    that we don't have to travel out of the state to buy them (because you know people
    will) and therefore give more money to other states instead of keeping the revenue in
    Florida.
      --Amanda McKinney

54. Real Fireworks are as American as Mom and Apple Pie. We have always rang in the
    New Years and celebrated July 4th with them. Lets keep the things that remind us of
    this country and binds us as a nation. We've had enough of our religions and our
    traditions stolen, enough! In God We Trust! God Bless America and God Bless Our
    Troops! Merry Christmas!
                                                                                           15


      --Bill Webster
      Individual

55. Fireworks are part of America.....keep them!
      --Don Widmann

56. I appreciate your work. If you strengthen the law on illegal fireworks users, I hope
    that you will also run a public service campaign. Otherwise, nobody will take it
    seriously.
       --Home owner in Temple Terrace, Florida

57. I feel fireworks should remain legal in Florida
       --Ed Burruss

58. Making fireworks illegal in Florida is like making being an American illegal.
    Fireworks are dangerous only when not used properly. There will be no way for the
    police to enforce such a law. People will go out of state to get the fireworks.
    Fireworks will become like a drug and the police already have enough to do as it is.
    Banning fireworks is like banning firearms. More people are killed by firearms then
    fireworks but there is nothing going to prevent an American from the right to bare
    arms. Fireworks are part of this countries heritage. Take away our fireworks and you
    take away everything that stands for the 4th of July. The Rockets red glare the bombs
    bursting in air. Stop trying to re-write history.
       --Chris Ward

59. I am a little more than concerned with all the rights we are suddenly loosing, and at a
    very fast rate too. Why are you now picking on Fireworks, do you actually see them
    as some kind of threat to security. How far is this going to go?
       --Patrick J Dougan

60. Fireworks on the 4th are a great tradition in this country. I hope the taskforce can find
    a way to make fireworks less restrictive during the days around July 4th so more
    people can enjoy them. At other times of the year, I feel they should be restricted due
    to the nuisance factor. People often argue about the safety factor, however, many
    things we do have risks. Individuals should have the opportunity to weigh those risk
    on their own and be responsible for using them safely.
      --Michael Mazza

61. I believe fireworks should be legalizes in FL., I hold a show on the 4th of July every
    year with relatives and friends. The show is always held in a large pasture allowing
    me to have a large amount of space between the show and the viewers, this exposes
    them to a great show and less danger then driving further to a show and the danger of
    accidents on the road and from the crowds that show up for fireworks. I believe that
    as long as you are safety minded and pose no threat to neighbors you should be
    allowed to use fireworks.
       --Bernard Volkerty
                                                                                          16


     Sherwin Williams

62. Do we really need more government laws that aren't going to stop people from
    getting fireworks? The only thing prohibition of Fireworks will do is create a huge
    black market for fireworks in the state of Florida. Is this really just all about money
    and how much money the state of Florida can FLEECE from it citizens via fines
    imposed upon people for celebrating the freedom and liberty that you want to take
    away??? This prohibition will do nothing to take fireworks off the street just like the
    war on drugs did nothing to take drugs of the streets of Florida. What is it with you
    governmental people and your non stop urge to keep your hands in our pockets and
    your need to keep your thumbs on our freedom?
      --Robert
      A citizen concerned about more governmental interference in our lives

63. There is NO reason to ban fireworks!! They are no more dangerous that guns...and I
    am sure that Florida is one of the most gun laden states in our country. Fireworks are
    an American pastime, this thought of making fireworks illegal is ridiculous.
      --Tyler Day
      ProvisionIT

64. Keep status quo. Leave the fireworks alone.
     -- Anonymous

65. Please do all you can to make consumer fireworks accessible to adults in Florida.
    This tradition deserves a voice.
      -- Anonymous

66. I've looked over your "Draft Recommendations Evaluation Worksheet" and I don't
    agree with the restrictions. My only recommendation is to change the legal age from
    18 to 21. An 18 year old, is still a kid mentally and undisciplined. I know what I'm
    saying, because I was like that, as well as all my friends and brothers. I'm 31 years
    old now and responsible when it comes to the use of fireworks for the last 8-10 years.
    I love aerials and firecrackers and I would hate to have the use of them restricted to
    noon and 9am. That's just not right. AS you know the weather in Florida is usually
    rainy on the 4th and on New Year's Eve. I've had to use my fireworks many times
    after 12am due to the weather. We also have to deal with the city and county noise
    ordinances, which in Miami-Dade county is at 11:00pm. So please, rethink consider
    your plan to restrict the use of fireworks. Just raise the age to 21. Thanks for your
    time.
       --Michael Bacallao

67. I feel that u guys or whom ever is in this whole thing to take away fireworks from
    Florida. Over the years yes they might have been mishaps and problems with
    fireworks because Florida had a dry season where the ground is very dry and anything
    can start an easy fire but I say Florida is well known for there fireworks and there
    display over the years families and friends have fun lighting them many do it has like
                                                                                           17


   if its a religion its something fun but in mind many keep safety at first hand its what
   many Floridians grow up love doing out here and pass it down to there kids
   grandchildren to have a joyful time together lighting fireworks and lighting up the
   sky. I feel fireworks shouldn’t be banned cause it only going to make the holidays
   like 4th of July and new years a nonuse-full day where we cant do anything. What
   will happen to the seller many sell fireworks so they can live....they own many stores
   so not only u hurt us but u hurt them as wells. PLEASE I ASK KEEP IT HERE AND
   LET IT STAY HERE WHY ONLY NOW U DECIDE TO DO THIS FOR ALL THE
   YEARS WE HAD IT AND WE COULD LIGHT IT THERE WAS NO PROBLEM
   SO I DON’T SEE THERE A BIG PROBLEM NOW. GOD BLESS!
      --Daniel Sooko

68. I believe that the right to display fireworks should be left up to the consumer. It is not
    the right of a government agency to dictate to myself or my friends when and where I
    can display fireworks in a safe and reasonable manner . The right to celebrate the
    freedom that we have in our great country has been celebrated w/ the use of fireworks
    longer than I or anyone reading this has been around. Please stop trying to change our
    nation, it is a great nation and will continue to be one as long as politicians stop
    wasting time on such useless matters as FIREWORKS, and start dealing w/ issues
    that people are actually concerned about. Please end this waste of tax payers time and
    money and focus on what matters, healthcare, taxes, and a rising crime rate in most of
    the state, in the large scheme of things I would think you would be ashamed that you
    are even wasting a second of tax payers time on such an un important issue . Stop
    trying to control peoples lives its unconstitutional and is wasting time and money and
    its a disgrace to our great state. Aaron Pfeifer
       --Aaron Pfeifer

69. I work in the retail part of the consumer fireworks in the state of Florida. If fireworks
    are banned in the state, people will still go out and find a way to get them. It would be
    a better idea just to legalize the sale and use of them.
      --Kimberly Mele

70. I have bought my fireworks from phantom fireworks for the past 10 years. They are a
    very responsible and safe place to get fireworks. I know that they only sell fireworks
    to adults. When I think of the 4th of July or new years I think of fireworks! Please
    don’t take this national past-time from us. Thank you Javier Prado
       --Javier Prado

71. I must advise to the task force that if laws are ever made to prohibit the sale of legal
    fireworks to Florida consumers, there will still be a large percentage of consumers
    that will turn to illegal fireworks or simply purchase them from another state. I
    suggest an alternative way to limit the number of firework-related accidents, such as
    firework safety education. I haven't an idea on how to educate consumers, but taking
    away the right to purchase fireworks in Florida does not solve the problem. In theory
    one could argue the number of accidents will diminish, but I argue that there would a
    rise in illegal or unsafe fireworks would just create further problems. taking away
                                                                                           18


   scissors from children doesn't necessarily stop danger, they're bound to find another
   pair of scissors. Instead children are taught how to handle scissors safely.
     --Colin Myers
     no affiliation

72. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have been an avid and loyal hobbyist of consumer fireworks
    most of my life. These last few years have become a labor intense filled agenda with
    trying to keep consumer fireworks legal. As you know, fireworks are a part of most
    American backyard 4th of July traditions and they are apart of our culture. As we
    move on into the 21st century, one can't notice enough that there seems to be more
    freedoms taken away from the average American citizen. Fireworks seem to be on
    this list year in and year out. The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) seems
    to always use outdated stats from 1999-2003 about the dangers of fireworks usage
    and the emergency room visits created by injuries from fireworks. There are current
    stats stating that as usage of consumer fireworks has skyrocketed over the past several
    years (post 9/11) the accidents rates have dropped significantly as all consumer
    fireworks are put through rigorous and stringent testing as performed by the CPSC
    (Consumer Products Safety Commission). I am asking that the Florida legislature to
    rethink their stance on the use of consumer fireworks as this is as an American
    tradition as you can get and what our fore fathers have fought for and established this
    country on. FREEDOM..... Thank- you for your time. Ken (A pyrotechnic fan for
    life)
       --Ken
       Hobbyists

73. I would like to see fireworks legal. must be 21 to buy, and have them sign a
    disclaimer should they decide not use them properly. don’t punish the majority for the
    action of a few. Thank You
      --Charles Clift

74. Fireworks are a long standing tradition in this country. From the days of our founders.
    Take into consideration the thousands and thousands of Floridians who use fireworks
    in a safe manner to celebrate the holidays with their families. What about tax revenue
    from millions and millions of dollars in annual sales? To ban fireworks is absurd in
    my opinion. Its just another example of a small minority trying to ruin something for
    the majority of honest hard working families that celebrate the holidays with
    fireworks.
       --Marc Smith

75. I would love to see Florida's consumer fireworks laws expanded to match the federal
    regulations. Celebrating with fireworks has been a tradition for my family, friends
    and neighbors for years, and it's always a uniquely special time that we share. I am
    sympathetic to concerns about improper use and harm to life, limb and property. As
    with almost anything, improper and irresponsible use can be dangerous. However,
    when used properly by responsible adults, fireworks are a perfectly safe and majestic
    climax to any celebration, and I would hate to see this wonderful tradition taken
                                                                                           19


   away. Please thoughtfully consider legalizing all fireworks. Thank you for your time.
     --Josh Pappas

76. Why does america and countries other than england waste money on fireworks. Guy
    fawks is long gone. The more fireworks that are ignited the more devastation it causes
    to the animals. Those who manufacture and set off fireworks are inconsiderate to the
    animals we all love. Tthe displays are beautiful but they must be muted repeat muted
    please
      --Marianne
      Fireworks Action Group

77. Fireworks should be legalized, its an American tradition. Legal fireworks are safer.
    Look around on the 4th or New Years, it will never be stopped. There will just be
    more black-market unsafe products if we can't purchase them legally.
      -- Anonymous

78. Why denied Fireworks? It only happens once a year and I as parent we love throwing
    fireworks on July 4. Yes, I understand that they are dangerous, but if you are there
    with your children and as a responsible parent that is the one lighting up the firework
    they should take responsibility for their own action then no one could get hurt. But if
    a parent buys the fireworks to the children and there not there to watch them, then
    they should get a fine, and not ruined it for the rest of every one that they are
    following directions.
       --Jennifer Hernandez

79. Fireworks are one of my favorite ways to celebrate. There are only two holidays that
    we can shoot off fireworks with out the old people that live next to us, yelling at us.
    Independence day and New Years eve, taking away fireworks on these two holidays
    would take away 95% of the celebrating. Banning fireworks would be like banning
    egg-nog, as gross as egg-nog may be, we only use it once a year, so it really cannot be
    hurting anybody.
      --Matthew

80. I am in full support of the sales of fireworks.
       --Laura

81. Don't make fireworks Illegal. They are plenty safe when used responsibly and within
    the manufacturers' recommendations. Maybe just punish parents and adults
    responsible for children playing with them and getting injured. Seems reasonable.
      --Stephen Forguson

82. Keep fireworks legal! we are not New York and New Jersey, although the many that
    have relocated here want to change our wonderful free laws in Florida that we've had
    for many decades! STOP IT!
      -- Anonymous
                                                                                           20


83. As a private citizen I say let us have fireworks. The government shows all too often
    that it does not really have the peoples concerns at heart. I don't want the government
    speaking for me. They don't show me that they really have a clue about the people
    anymore. Just look at the justice system or the mega problem with the illegal alien
    problem in our country/state. Let us have some fun. Don't take our celebrating fun
    away. We have little left without someone whining and complaining about everything
    they don't agree with. Don't let the stupidity of a few ruin it for the thousands of us
    who ARE responsible with fireworks.
      --The Gibson Family.
      Public Citizens

84. Please DO NOT outlaw fireworks in the state of Florida. I grew up in NJ (a state that
    outlaws fireworks) and had to sneak them into the state, or buy them from black-
    market dealers just to enjoy them (and yes, one way or another we always had them).
    Keeping them legal and regulated in this state means a supply of SAFE fireworks,
    sold only to adults, as well as additional revenue for the state. As I said, outlawing
    fireworks will NOT prevent fireworks from coming into this state, will not reduce the
    number of STUPID people from using them recklessly, will be next to impossible to
    enforce and only serve to place additional burdens on our already overworked police
    forces. Please keep fireworks legal, regulated and safe in Florida.
       --Robert S. Anderson

85. I would like to see fireworks available to purchase and use in the State of Florida.
      --Brian Smith
      Citizen of Florida

86. Legalize the use of fireworks.....its a tradition don't take it away!!!
      --Roger F.

87. Fireworks should be legal in FLA and all of the USA Its the American way. They
    shouldn’t let us buy them if they are made in china or outside USA .Only have them
    from USA suppliers and makers. I enjoy then 2 day out of 365 July 4th and new
    Years so what the big dam deal. I can get hurt or killed driving to work for god sake.
    Do we stop people from driving and 55,000 get killed on highway ever year.
      --Capt Gene

88. I urge you all to legalize fireworks.
       --Adam

89. I have a right to use fireworks in the state of Florida. I understand that the use of
    fireworks can be safe if done in a safe and sane manner. Fireworks are a great way to
    celebrate any event and add an extra kick to my events as long as I use fireworks
    safely. Keep people like me in mind when considering laws governing fireworks!!! I
    am a responsible adult who enjoys fireworks!!! Thank you, Daniel Simmons
       --Daniel Simmons
                                                                                          21


90. Consumer fireworks are a healthy part of American life. Fireworks represent our
    democratic society's way of celebrating our freedom. Used safely, fireworks help
    Americans show their patriotism. It is not right for anyone to deny a person's right to
    safely and responsibly show support for our nation by lighting consumer fireworks
    during our country's holidays. Fireworks were designed to enhance celebrations.
      --Joe Mele

91. Fireworks supporter : Saying one can not buy fireworks to celebrate a holiday is
    ludicrous. Please don’t take away our right to enjoy beautiful things and celebrate
    what people fought and died for our country.
      --Julie Perez

92. I have used fireworks twice a year for the past 20 years, I have not had an injury to
    myself or many other people that comes to enjoy my fireworks display. I believe that
    adults should be adults when it comes to fireworks, we should not let children do the
    lighting of any fireworks. I do have many options as of city and parks events that I
    can go to see fireworks display, but there's no greater feeling than having the freedom
    to enjoy your own fireworks show. I believe that by banning all consumer fireworks,
    all concerns of brushfires, home fires, injuries, and many other concerns are not going
    to disappear. There's always going to be a few that will see a p rofit and buy these
    products at out of state and make them available to the Florida residents. This could
    be more of a danger since we don't really know how illegal or dangerous these
    products may be. Know that it something to be concerned about. Thanks for the
    chance to present my concerns.
       --Carlos A. Castillo

93. I think as an American that is constantly loosing rights and freedoms daily we need
    not do anything other than making Fireworks legal buy and use throughout State of
    Florida. We have the right as being sons, daughters, uncles and aunts, etc. of Veterans
    who gave their life to protect out freedom and liberties only to have given their life
    for a government both federal and state to the local city and counties are constantly
    trying to take away rights from the public. There should be responsible use when
    using fireworks. I and other family, friends do that as we celebrate the 4th of July.
    Don't take that right away from us to and please don't disgrace the family members
    that have given their life to protect my rights and freedoms.
       --Michael Surrena
       Resident

94. I would like to place my full support behind the legalization of fireworks in Florida. I
    am a Fire/Rescue employee and like most of my peers, I realize that fireworks are not
    nearly the problem that many would like you to believe they are. I have worked in
    Fire/Rescue for 15 years and I have never run a firework injury to date. Please do not
    allow the anti- firework lobby to take away yet another of out traditions in this
    country. It amazes me that even though alcohol continues to be a top killer in this
    country, we are worried about fireworks. Please legalize fireworks for those over 21
    in this country!!!
                                                                                         22


     --Jay McKeehan
     Personal

95. I'm a resident of South Florida and been buying fireworks for about 3 years now and
    never have I had a dangerous situation involving fireworks. I believe fireworks can be
    dangerous if use irresponsibly, for example consuming alcohol and trying to light up
    fireworks. This can happen in any state. My family enjoys driving to Phantom
    Fireworks every July and look forward to the display I put on. Not only does my
    family look forward to it but some of the neighborhood kids and family who can't
    afford having fireworks of their own. I know the city has their own display, but what
    would fourth of July be without tradition. BBQ with the family, shooting some
    rockets, having family over. It's also a celebration of our freedom. We should be free
    to buy fireworks for our family and have a good time.
       --Sergio Arce

96. I do not see any problems with the sale of fireworks. I have been using fireworks on
    the 4th of July for years. don’t let the use of fireworks be spoiled by the few who
    oppose them. they generate lots of money in taxes. if you take them how will you
    replace that money.
       --Shane Long

97. I feel that fireworks should remain legal in the State of Florida. I get so discouraged
    with so many people loosing the patriotic or religious rights. I have been in Gulf War
    1 and Gulf War 2, and I looked so forward to coming home and seeing how patriotic
    everyone was with displaying the American Flag and shooting Fireworks. I think it
    will be sad to see another one of our country's tradition go.
       --Scott French, PA-C, MPAS

98. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Task Force:

     Thank you for serving on this very important committee and I appreciate the
     opportunity to make my voice heard.

     First, I must say that I find it imperative that something be done to address this
     issue, one way or the other. The condition that exists now is unacceptable because
     it is a system that implicitly encourages flouting of the law. We are a nation of
     laws and those laws must be respected and enforced. While fireworks may seem
     like an inconsequential matter in the grand scheme of things, I believe the current
     situation breeds an unhealthy contempt of the law due to lack of enforcement and
     the “wink and a nod” system at the stores. That being said, I don’t believe it’s the
     job of the fireworks stores to police their customers. Make a law that’s clear
     (which, personally, I believe the current law to be) and enforce it.

     Given that I think we all agree the current situation is untenable, I’ll move on to
     why I think further restrictions for firework use are not necessary. Everyone talks
     about the injuries and deaths caused by fireworks. I know y’all saw injury/death
                                                                                       23


statistics in the November meeting, so I’ll try not to belabor this point too much. I
did want to point out a few things from the Consumer Product Safety
Commission’s 2005 (the latest edition I could find) Fireworks Annual Report.
There were four deaths reported in 2005 due to fireworks. Two were caused by
people improperly transporting fireworks in a car, one was caused by a person
using a professional class shell illegally and the final one was caused by somebody
holding a mortar tube while he launched the firework. The imprint of the base was
on his chest afterwards. Unfortunately, you can’t fix stupid… I don’t mean to
sound callous, but really, more regulation isn’t going to help people that are using
professional grade fireworks or placing a launching tube on their chest. As for the
other two deaths that occurred in a car, no information is available as to how the
fireworks were ignited. Let’s assume that these are tragic accidents in which there
was no misuse or stupidity involved. An average of 9 kids a year die from furniture
tipping over. Can you regulate that? It seems we have a much more serious
problem with that than from fireworks.

A popular position I’ve heard, even from one of your task force members, is being
“anti fireworks that explode or launch”. According to the CPSC’s 2005 report, in
the busiest one month period for firework usage, fully 20% of firework related
injuries occurred from sparklers, fountains and novelties, not items that explode or
launch. Over 55% of the injuries that occurred to children under age 5 were caused
by sparklers. In fact, mortars, cakes and roman candles combined didn’t cause as
many injuries as sparklers alone. Those who advocate this position are deeming the
level of risk posed by sparklers and fountains to be an acceptable risk, while saying
a lower risk level posed by other types of fireworks is not acceptable. How can this
be explained consistently?

The fact is, used as is, legally or illegally, correctly or incorrectly, fireworks aren’t
that dangerous… Or should I say, everything is dangerous. People get injured and
killed on bikes, in cars, with toaster ovens. I’ve taken my 5 year old son to the
emergency room 3 times. He broke his arm running down the driveway. Mandate
rubber pavement? He busted his head open on the corner of a wall. Require
padded rooms? Is it tragic when people get injured by fireworks? Absolutely. Are
there people that abuse fireworks? Obviously. So go after those people and let us
responsible users enjoy a safe product.

The practical reality of this world is a more tender matter, I understand. This is an
emotionally charged issue and I realize when emotions become involved logic
usually suffers. I would be open to a “Consumer Licensing” or permitting program,
as it seems y’all are considering, provided the cost was not prohibitive ($25-$50
seems reasonable). I guess I wouldn’t oppose a “County Approved Area” where
items that explode or launch could be used, provided it was mandated that every
county has at least one such area. Surely you won’t relegate all fireworks to such
an area. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely, Kai Burk
                                                                                      24


98. fireworks should stay legal in Florida because they are a big tradition to many
    people and they make people fee good
    --Gino Popat


99. I think the state of Florida should go ahead and legalize the sale of fireworks to
    consumers all year long. I am very passionate about fireworks and I love shooting
    them off. However, I think you need to work with a fireworks association to
    understand more about the industry and how they operate. That way you can both
    get what you want out of it, which is fun, safety and of course money. I would
    recommend contacting the National Fireworks Association at
    www.nationalfireworks.org. This association is for people who are in the industry
    and they can tell how the industry operates as well as the problems that they run
    into when dealing with either state or local governments. Good luck!
     --Jason Wachter


100. After reading the recommendations of the Task Force above, I am very
    disappointed. First, it appears that all types of consumer fireworks are
    recommended for approval. Some of those make as much noise and shake the
    windows and doors as if bombs are going off. The days/hours for use. Are you
    aware that many of the nitwits out there will being setting off fireworks the whole
    time they are permitted to. Would you want to hear that noise in your
    neighborhood for 5 days from noon til 1 am. If so, come to my house, you will be
    in for a real treat! Actually, we hear it for about 2 weeks before and after the
    holidays. Just because someone is 18 years of age does not mean he has the
    common sense or consideration to be able to use fireworks. I have dogs and
    horses that are scared to death of the booms, whistles, and colorful sprays. The
    dogs stay in the house and hide. But I spend those hours at the barn trying to keep
    the horses calm so they don't panic and injure themselves. My idiot neighbors
    shoot all sort of aerial fireworks right towards my barn! If you call the Sheriff's
    office they just tell you there are a hundred fireworks calls ahead of you. They
    don't have the manpower to do anything about it. I have written to my sta te
    legislators and they tell me the counties need to pass an ordinance to ban
    fireworks. The County commissioners say their hands are tied by the state.
    Everyone passes the buck. I cannot believe the State of Florida and all the
    counties and municipalities knowingly permit the sale of illegal fireworks. The
    verification form purchasers sign is also willful fraud. You will never be able to
    stop them from being used as long as you permit them to be sold. The government
    works very hard to stop the sale and use of illegal drugs. And violators of traffic
    laws get hefty fines. But people selling and using illegal fireworks don't even get
    a slap on the wrist. Is it a case of who has the most powerful lobby? Are you that
    afraid of being sued by these fireworks vendors that are knowingly violating the
    law by selling illegal fireworks? Maybe the fireworks vendors, counties and state
    should by sued by citizens.
   --Gladys Newton
                                                                                       25



101. Fireworks are a tradition in my family and many others, why do you want to
   take this away from us? I use fireworks carefully and my friends use them
   carefully not all people are idiots!!! Daniel Kaster
   --Daniel Kastner


102. I am glad to see changes to the existing laws regarding fireworks. I strongly
   feel that restricting the types of fireworks that are allowed to be sold by retailers
   to the general public will benefit the vast majority of citizens in this state. I would
   like to see more restrictions in where these firework tents can set up shop. Why
   are they allowed to sell them right next to gas stations ? What happens when one
   of these tents blow up and cause a gas station to blow up ?Fireworks now are
   more powerful and more dangerous than ever and any person with money can
   easily buy them. Last year people in my area were setting off fireworks that shook
   my home every night for the week before and after July 4th, again for the week of
   Christmas and again for days after New Years Day. My animals are terrified, my
   family members that have served in Iraq and other "wars" endure flashbacks and
   other mental terror from these super loud fireworks. Local law enforcement say
   they can't do anything if they don't see a person "actually light" the fireworks. If
   retailers where not allowed to sell these heavy fireworks to consumers in the firs t
   place there would be less cost to enforce the laws.
   --April Ward
   homeowner Pasco County


103. Fireworks should be made legal in FLORIDA. They are safer now then they
   have ever been! They keep getting better each year and there is more safety
   information out there now too!
   Anonymous

104. How can you possibly condone ILLEGAL fireworks? They are dangerous, a
   public annoyance, bad for animals and ILLEGAL. What part of ILLEGAL don't
   you understand?? If it goes up in the air and goes boom, it's ILLEGAL!!
   Anonymous


105. As long as I can remember, my grandparents would always have us over for
   dinner and fireworks on the 4th. My whole family enjoyed this treasured family
   event every year. The grandkids would sit in the yard with their parents, and t he
   kids and parents that didn't like or couldn't stand the noise stayed inside. Then
   they would say how great they looked thru the window. I know Fireworks are not
   for everyone, but lets not change what families have been doing for years now.
   LETS KEEP FIREWORKS IN FLORIDA!
                                                                                    26



106. Florida need firework in Florida because it is a holiday for new year became
   it always bend Florida,
    --Robert W Nelson Jr.,

107. I believe that fireworks "remain" legal in the State of Florida. I have been
   teaching my son and neighborhood children how to safely use fireworks and have
   fun. Please do not take this "simple" thing from me and son. If you feel the need
   to "limit" them, then set an "age purchasing" limit on them so that you can limit
   the juveniles that may be abusing them but not in the safe hands of
   adults.....thanks!
   --Timothy W. Cralen


108. all consumer grade fireworks should be made legal in Florida. fireworks are
   an American past time and many people enjoy them. over the last 7 years or so,
   sales of fireworks have almost doubled nationwide and accidents are way down
   thanks to safety measures imposed by the Consumer Product Safety Board.
   fireworks will also generate tax money for the state which is a plus.
    --Robert Lechowicz
    Cape Coral resident


109. Consumer Fireworks should be legal and available to all US citizens in every
   state. As we go along in time we are continuing to loose more and more freedoms.
   Every 4th of July every American that wants to, should be allowed to celebrate
   with some consumer grade fireworks. They should also be allowed to use
   fireworks to celebrate other holidays and special occasions as well. Today's
   consumer fireworks are much safer than those of years past and there are stats to
   support that. Safe use of them should be enforced and selling product to minors or
   persons under the age of 18 prohibited. Educating the users of the safe procedures
   and simple do's and don't should be communicated to each purchaser. A simple
   flyer handed out to customers at the time of sale would be an e xample.
    --


110. There are too many injuries due to these dangerous products that you call
   "consumer fireworks". These are unpredictable projectiles, and the exploding ones
   are equally volatile. Strengthen FS 791, and make the laws, and penalties strong
   enough to deter those who keep breaking the law.
   --Don G., DO
   Physician


111. Why punish the responsible people because of a few retards? Instead of trying
   to ban fireworks, you should allow most all fireworks. Whatever happened to
                                                                                    27


   personal responsibility? No where in the constitution does it say it is the
   government's responsibility to protect consumers. The majority of my friends
   enjoy fireworks and love to use them especially to celebrate our nation's
   independence.
   --


112. This past July 4th: "Nebraska Fireworks Mishap Injures Little Girl": Five
   year old Zoie Evans was sitting on a blanket, watching a neighbor shoot off his
   backyard fireworks display when the device toppled, and traveled to where Zoie
   was sitting. The firework struck her side, punctured her lung and caused third
   degree burns. Marion County: "Florida Woman Injured When Fireworks Explode
   in Her Hand": Fire rescue rushed a 36 year-old Marion County woman from the
   National Forest to Monroe Regional Hospital Wednesday night (July 4, 2007),
   after suffering first and second degree burns to her hands. The fireworks exploded
   in her hands. Montgomery County, Texas: "Baby, 20-Year-Old Injured in Texas
   Fireworks Incidents": A 4- month-old baby suffered second and third degree burns
   on her back and legs (27 percent of her body) after a stray aerial firework struck
   her from 30 feet during a neighborhood fireworks display. The fireworks were
   shot off in the street, when one of the aerial projectiles went sideways instead of
   going up striking the mother and child, and ignited the blanket. Also: A 20-year-
   old was seriously injured while holding a firework. The firework was supposed to
   have been placed on the ground, and instead, this young man lit it in his hand. The
   firework exploded in his face. Belleview, Marion County, Florida: An 18-year-old
   man suffered facial burns and head injuries when he was hit just above his left eye
   by two rapid- fire Roman candles from about 3 feet away during New Year's Eve
   celebrations. He was airlifted to Shands Hospital, Gainesville, due to the severity
   of the injuries. And Florida is considering making these "consumer fireworks"
   legal? These are just a few of the incidents---there are plenty more to read about
   on the NAPA website. Strengthen FS 791. Keep all exploding and aerial
   fireworks illegal to use! These are NOT toys!
   --Jorja
   Marion County


113. Public Fireworks in Florida are a public nuisance and a hazard to our health &
   the environment. They are a danger to humans & all animals, domestic & wild.
   The smoke and toxic pollution associated with these displays ads to Global
   Warming & pollution of our planet. F.S. 791 needs to be strengthened. Fireworks
   are especially deadly to horses. Horses are a flight/prey animal and all of them are
   absolutely terrified of fireworks. Please stop fire works & stop the killing &
   maiming of animals & humans
   --Miriam Lauer
   Horse & Pony News
                                                                                         28


114.    Keep fireworks.....what's the 4th. of July with out them?
       --Don Widmann


115. Exploding fireworks belong only professionally- managed settings and
   displays. The fireworks manufacturers and vendors are driving the push to allow
   the personal use of fireworks, and have for years been knowingly abetting their
   illegal personal use via the wink-wink/sly-smile "sign on the dotted line"
   disclaimer that purchasers FRAUDULENTLY sign, swearing that they're buying
   explosive fireworks for agricultural purposes. Yeah, well, there are no crops to
   protect in my neighborhood when these drunken idiots light up the nights well
   past kids' (and adults') bedtimes on school/work nights. Please STOP the purchase
   of explosive fireworks, period. I don't care if people do pass some personal safety
   course or if they blow up their own fingers. Their noise interferes with many other
   people's right to enjoy their homes in peace and quiet at night.
   --Trude Diamond

116.   SAFE Holiday Greetings for ALL,

  It's technically illegal in Florida to buy fireworks that shoot into the air or explode,
  but for years buyers and sellers have ignored the law with a wink.

  Personally, we have had our Florida neighbors shoot off fireworks in the street
  while drinking beer. The fireworks have landed on our home's roof and on our car.
  We have had to run out with the garden hose to keep our Florida home from
  burning. The next morning, burned fireworks litter the neighborhood. We moved -
  - we are still in the same county in Florida, and unfortunately people are still setting
  off fireworks illegally.

  There are concerns of fires starting with fireworks in rura l areas, neighborhoods,
  cities, parks, grassy areas and anywhere there is combustible matter, homes, brush,
  bushes, trees, cars, trucks lawnmowers with gasoline, people, children,
  handicapped, elderly, pets, wildlife, livestock. Yes, we are all combustib le,
  including our family, pets and animals. Illegal fireworks set off by people start
  fires. We do not want fires started. We do not want people or animals burned,
  killed or injured.

  It's pretty dry in Florida -- things will easily catch on fire. Ask any firefighter. Why
  risk the lives of Floridians, homeowners, firefighters, police, animals. It's already
  Florida's law.

  "Rainfall in the Tampa Bay area for the 12- month period ending Oct 21 was 8.2
  inches less than historic averages, and average lake levels in the area are 1.36 FEET
  BELOW the lowest point of the normal range. Climatologists are predicting
  below-normal rainfall into the late spring or early summer." - Mike Salinero Tampa
  Tribune December 3, 2007
                                                                                      29



  There are the elderly, sick, children, pets, wildlife and livestock that don't want to
  listen to the noise. Many are fearful of the noise and possible fire, which they have
  no power to control or protect themselves in and around their own homes.

  It's already Florida's law.

  There are plenty of opportunities for public patriotic display of fireworks, put on by
  professionals for everyone and their families to enjoy. There are safe public
  fireworks, parades and events for people to be patriotic and or party with no harm
  to others.

  Please enforce the laws that exist and stop the selling of fireworks to anyone and
  everyone in Florida, with a wink and a nod. Its the law. None of us want to
  continue live in fear of fire started by FIREWORKS. New Year's Eve is just around
  the corner -- will you protect us?

  Any consideration will be greatly appreciated.
  Larry and Barbara Markland
  Frightened by Illegal Fireworks Fire in Florida



116. It seems that fireworks are a source of enjoyment and tradition for many
   people. It seems that if they want to continue buying them, they should be able to,
   if they are sufficiently safe for them and the community.


117. A side from the fact fireworks are illegal and our laws are not being enforced
   on the use current of fireworks, I am not in favor of allowing just anyone access
   to them. Outside of public displays by cities or amusement parks no one should be
   allowed to damage my property, scare my pets, or send themselves to the
   emergency room for being stupid. Especially roadside vendors that are here today
   and gone tomorrow. They show people how to break the law just for a buck.
    --Craig R. Mcnees
    Disabled And Retired


118. The public overwhelmingly wants fireworks! Keep it legal and clarify what is
   right. There are other things in Florida which require much more atte ntion. Thank
   you.
   --Jim Keiper
                                                                                       30


119. I am a BATF licensed pryo. I will tell you that a set back of 250 feet in not
   needed! Federal guidelines mandate a fall out area of 75 feet per one inch of shell
   diameter. This is so absurd that you are wasting your time listening to all of these
   people complain about their pets. Do their pets vote? Do they pay taxes? We as
   Americans have to right to be free and celebrate our independence and the
   beginning and end of the year. I am so sick and tired of the government telling me
   what I can and can't do. Next they will tell me that I can't have a real Christmas
   Tree in my home because it may start a fire. Let us decide. One has to be at least
   eighteen years old to buy fireworks. At this age people are considered adults.
   Have faith in us Americans to do the right thing and be responsible.
   --AL Mueller




120. I would like to point out that citizens who are 15 years and younger are at the
   highest risk of injury from fireworks (the children). It is unfortunate that the
   majority of the adults who are for legalizing fireworks do not realize or
   understand these facts. Similar to children playing in a busy street are fireworks in
   the hands of children. While most parents will exclaim how they would never
   allow their children to use fireworks unsupervised; I see it time and time again
   where children ignite fireworks unsupervised by adults, resulting in both wildland
   and structure fires. I encourage the task force to listen to and validate the concerns
   of those who are employed in the public safety arena. Public safety officials have
   no purpose in this issue other than to protect the public to which we have been
   entrusted. While I agree that government should not routinely impose upon
   freedoms of the individual; neither should unaware individuals be allowed by that
   same government to impose their freedoms in a haphazard manner to the
   detriment of other individuals...especially children. Paul D. Nevels, Fire Marshal,
   Marion County Fire Rescue


121. My Sister Jorja Greig has been telling me of her problems with neighbors
   who shoot off fireworks near her horses and barn, scaring her horses and
   endangering her family and pets and possessions. She subsequently started a
   campaign against fireworks and found that many people and animals have been
   injured and killed by fireworks. Please listen to her, as she has done her due
   diligence and found that this is a very dangerous practice. I pray that fireworks
   never affect those you love or your animals/pets or possessions with fires or
   maiming.
    --Jan Weinstein
    Beth Elohenu Messianic Congregation
                                                                                     31


122. I am dreading New year's Eve. Every year we are bombarded w/firework
   displays over my barn and spooking all 4 of my horses. Last New Years was the
   worst. The neighbors started at 6pm and went to 1am before they ran out of
   fireworks. My horses ran and ran and had no shelter because they were shooting
   right over the barn. I sedated them around 6pm, but the sedation is only mild and
   they still hear and see the lights and NOISES around the m. They run and cut
   themselves running into fences. They are covered w/sweat and gaspin for air from
   running continuously for hours. People are NOT responsible when is comes to
   fireworks. They think this is "party" time and anything goes. They also thinks it
   humorous that the animals are affected. I even had a firecracker thrown directly at
   them during the "festivities". The police have way too many calls and way too
   many people are setting off illegal, aerial fireworks; people are afraid their houses
   (roofs) will catch on fire; pool screen, porch screens are being ruined; yards full
   of litter the next day; and car finishes ruined. Dogs run away and run over by cars
   on the highway as they are trying to flee the noise. AERIAL fireworks BY
   PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS HAS GOT TO BE STOPPED AT ALL COSTS. They
   are dangerous, to humans and animals alike. Children are being killed; adults
   being injured. Where will it end? Public displays are enough!!
   --Barbara Iles


123. I can't believe that with all the concern over terrorism and the potential for
   harm that fireworks would even be considered as something one could purchase
   anytime. We have so many ways that fireworks are a potential risk, but I believe
   with the availability of these kinds of packed explosives or gun powder we are
   making a big mistake to even consider making them legal to buy. We act shocked
   when people harm others or kill others but aren't we opening up another door for
   that very thing? As a citizen I think fireworks are going to become a dangerous
   activity for those who use them, not only for the one lighting them but for the risk
   of fires or harm coming to humans and animals. Can't we find other ways to
   celebrate occasions without involving fire and explosives? Who's pockets are
   benefiting from all this time and money for this task force? When we have people
   loose their homes to fire from a few firecrackers thrown through the window what
   will happen with the bigger fireworks. If one person is killed or hurt that is one
   too many. Let's not cave into the money that can be made, lets be responsible and
   vote against this. Rebecca Frank


124. As much as we would like to believe that only "responsible" people use
   dangerous fireworks "responsibly", the reality is they don't. Neighbors who live
   across the street from my 27 and 33 year hold horses feel the need to drink
   alcohol and light bottle rockets and other launching fireworks. These fireworks
   fall over and instead of launching up, they launch parallel to the ground. On more
   than one occasion, they have missed hitting my horse by a matter of feet. I have to
   patrol my small 1.3 acre pasture to try to keep my horses from hurting themselves
   and my pasture is littered with debris which I have to pick up so the don't
                                                                                       32


   accidentally ingest. I also cannot leave the property in the even they land on my
   barn and catch it on fire. This does not happen for just one night on the 4th of July
   or New Years. This goes on for days before and after. Shock and Awe in Baghdad
   has got nothing on what goes on here. On another year, one of my animals was
   running so frantically, he strained a tendon in his leg, which did not heal right, has
   calcified, and can no longer be ridden faster than a walk. This is a horse who was
   a trained school horse. Other times have resulted in colicky symptoms. I have
   been forced to purchase over $500 worth of sedatives and tranquilizers but this is
   risky due to their advanced age. It is so bad that this illegal activity has forced me
   to load up my horses & leave my own property. Frankly, I believe this c auses me
   to be deprived of my basic constitutional rights. Having people sign "ag forms" is
   a complete crock. There is not one corn stalk or cane stalk in this neighborhood.
   As much as we would like to believe that human nature is always responsible, it is
   not. If it was, there would be no need for traffic laws, gun laws, labor laws, etc.
   These devices have no business being use in areas so close together. At a
   minimum, designated areas with lots of space and away from residential areas that
   can be monitored by fire rescue and medical personnel should be established.
   We've all heard of skate parks and dog parks. It's time for legislators to take their
   head out of the sand and quit being naive. People left to their own devices when it
   comes to fireworks have not proven their ability to act responsibly.
   --Beth McElroy


125. Please stop the local and indiscriminative fire works, they are not only a
   serious threat to the safety of people, they are also a serious threat to out animals.
   I have a lab who is terrified of them, and I have a daughter who has 2 horses who,
   even though sedated, are uncontrollable when fireworks are set off are shot off.
   For everyone's safety, please stop them.
   --Barbara Breita


126. As both a pediatrician and animal (horse) owner, I have grave concerns about
   the dangers of fireworks. We don't allow the unregulated sale of explosives or
   ammunition---why should we allow the unregulated sale of products which can so
   easily explode, maim and kill? Additionally, the annual celebrations around which
   the largest number of fireworks are sold (July 4th, New Years) often involve the
   consumption of alcohol, raising the danger exponentially. The same word,
   "mortars", describes both certain types of fireworks and explosives used in
   warfare! PLEASE don't pander to the fireworks industry---take care of the safety
   citizens who elected you.
   --Susan Kerns, MD
   Ocala Pediatrics
                                                                                    33


127. Regardless if you call fireworks or firecrackers they all need to be help in the
   same category. Florida State Law has for years stated that the use of these
   products are to be limited to a very few people. The sale of these products have
   disturbed neighborhoods and have been allowed to be sold illegal. This is not to
   mention the hundreds of people including children that have been maimed for life
   using these dangerous products. I employ you to please see that these products are
   removed from our city streets if for no other reason but as a Public Safety matter.
   --Pete D. Johnson


128. As a concerned homeowner, I do not want any fireworks that explode to be
   sold as a legal product. I would also like every purchaser of fireworks to obtain a
   permit to show or prove they are truly eligible to purchase and use fireworks
   under Statute 791. I am sick and tired of worrying every holiday whether my
   house is going to catch on fire and watching small children playing games with
   deadly fireworks. We need to be heard that fireworks are not a good thing and kill
   people and destroy property. It is so dangerous for these weapons to be shot off
   and land on one's roof or veer off in the wrong direction, or take off someone's
   hand. Please help us stop this maniacal and destructive pastime from getting
   worse. Please ban all fireworks!!! Thank you for listening. Gary Schnetter
   --Gary Schnetter

129. Fireworks have been around for centurys. Legalize all of them in Florida-the
   tax revenue will be astronomical and great for Florida's economy. What's the
   difference between a clap of thunder in the summertime or a bottle rocket report?
   Thunder is MUCH louder and how many complaints do we hear regarding it?
   Residential property owners should continue to be permitted to have and
   responsibly use any fireworks. There is a BIG difference between using them
   within city limits and rural property-this whole scenario must be taken into
   consideration.
   --Mike
   Florida Citizen



130. Fireworks have been a part of our holiday celebrations since I was born. Of
   late, the non-majority seem to be having their way in trying to ban fireworks and
   the legal sale of 1.4g to consumers. I put on a large display every 4th of July and
   all of our neighbors love it. I know of many other people who do the same. Not
   many people that you talk to (under 55 anyway) have any problem with the
   responsible sale and use of 1.4g fireworks to consumers. The problem is we have
   a lot of seniors here and they don't like to be "disturbed". I say, "Tough".
   Fireworks are as much a part of celebrations in this country as apple pie. Sure
   people get hurt sometimes. They do riding their bicycles too. We going to ban
   them next? People find a way to cause harm to themselves in every activity of life
   including sleep. As far as fire hazard is concerned, the State Fire Marshal already
                                                                                         34


   has the right to prohibit there us in the event of dry conditions. I for one do not
   want to see fireworks banned period
   --Thomas E Jones


131. I believe strongly in freedom. I also believe that just because something is
   deemed dangerous, or deemed annoying by some, that should preclude my right
   to do it. Those of who use fireworks responsibly should not be punished for the
   actions of those who do not use them responsibly. Punish the irresponsible, and
   let us retain freedom.
   --Jason Land


132. People drink and drive. When they crash, we blame the drunk, not the car.
   When a kid falls down the stairs, we blame the kid, not the stairs. When drunks
   and kids get hurt with fireworks, we blame the fireworks. What's up with that?
   Let's have some common sense and let people choose for themselves what's right
   for them and their family. If someone causes a problem when using fireworks, we
   should make the individual responsible, not blame the fireworks. If they start a
   fire, charge them with reckless endangerment, or arson, or whate ver. You screw
   up, you go to jail. People may think twice if there are actual penalties for stupid
   behavior. Please stop trying to protect me from myself. The liberties set forth by
   our constitution allow me the freedom to be responsible for myself and my
   actions. A consistency of law seems to be in order. I know you want to help
   protect the public, but think for a moment what prohibition did. It caused more
   crime while the same amount of alcohol was consumed. If all fireworks are
   illegal (like marijuana or AK47s) people will find illegal sources to fill their
   needs. Illegal sources lack the impetus to manufacture quality products... MORE
   people will get hurt. Thank you for your consideration.
   --Russ Birch
   Individual citizen


133.    BAN THE FIREWORKS


134. Although it is SUPPOSED to be illegal for "non agricultural" people to
   purchase fireworks, it is still happening as you all know. The farmers in my area
   of Hillsborough County haven't used fireworks to scare off birds or other critters
   for years. So, why does the State of Florida still have such a lame law on the
   books? If, in fact, all of the people buying the fireworks were tied to the
   agricultural business, I don't think the Task Force would have been created.
   Obviously there is something drastically wrong with the system. The Polk County
   Sheriff banned fireworks a couple of years ago and the citizens are standing
   behind him and applauding him every chance they get. Where I live, people start
   shooting off fireworks several days before and several days after a holiday all
                                                                                         35


       while drinking alcoholic beverages. Obviously a behavior change is in order BUT
       I don't see that happening anytime soon. I want my property, family, and animals
       protected from this idiotic display of truly "burning money." Personal rights end
       when those rights start infringing on my rights: the right to sleep without fear of a
       fire, the right to peace and quiet, the right to clean air (yes, fireworks really do
       stink!). It's already Florida's law.... so enforce the existing law! There are plenty
       of opportunities for the "public" to attend fireworks displays. The only people that
       should be allowed to purchase and use fireworks are the professionals. Please
       enforce the laws that exist and stop the selling of fireworks on every corner in
       every neighborhood. Its the law. And it is the State's job to enforce that law. Be
       more like Sheriff Grady Judd in Polk County and "just say no" to allowing
       fireworks. PERIOD!
       --Charlotte Butler-Nelson


   135. Stop all this illegal use of fireworks. These were made illegal years ago
      because they are dangerous, and now it seems there are many lawbreakers who
      are influencing our Florida Legislators in trying to change the law so they can use
      them. Hear this all your Legislators---You'd better recognize just how many of us
      do NOT want these products made legal. If you don't listen, you'll be out of a job
      come next election. And you can take that to the bank!


   136. Remember how terrified you felt on 9/11? Not knowing what was happening?
      Not knowing when the attack would stop? Not knowing if you would be hurt or
      killed? Do you think animals it's any different for animals? Do you think they like
      being mentally traumatized any more than you do? Stop the cruelty!!!!




First of all, why is someone like Ken Welch on this task force? Due to his obvious
personal agenda to get all fireworks banned, his input is going to have major bias and he
can not be relied on to weigh the facts fairly. He and those who support him refer to the
vast majority of citizens who favor officially legalizing consumer fireworks as ìspecial
interests,î while looking at their own minority of fire chiefs, police chiefs, homeowner
association control freaks and an assortment of other busy-body do gooders as
representing the general public. The true ìspecial interestsî are people like Mr. Welch
who are personally invested in banning fireworks county by county and do not want to
see anything get in their way. As a licensed professional who works in the fireworks
industry, I can tell you that consumer class ìCî fireworks are not something that requires a
professional to safely use. They require common sense, as in not handing your 3 year old
kid a lit sparkler to play with, but they do not stand out as more dangerous than many
other common items such as bicycles, skateboards and power tools. In fact, according to
the CPSCs own accident statistics from year 2000, bicycles caused 94 times more
                                                                                          36


accidents than did fireworks! I am not involved with fireworks sales in any way and
derive no part of my income from the sale of consumer fireworks, nor do I ever purchase
consumer fireworks myself. I am defending the use of consumer fireworks by the general
public because 1) Iím tired of the bogus claims of how ìdangerousî fireworks are and 2) I
believe in a free country where people have the right to choose their own risks as long as
they are not hurting others. I also believe that fireworks bans have never been about
safety anyway. Safety is just used as a marketing ploy by those who really just donít like
the noise. Evidence of this safety ruse can be seen in the fact that 1/3 of all accidents to
children under 5 years of age are caused by sparklers, yet sparklers are rarely banned
even in states that ban all other types of fireworks. Why? Because spark lers donít make
any noise! By banning fireworks, you take control away from responsible retailers,
quality manufacturers, regulatory agencies and local governments and turn things over to
the black market. Once you have a thriving black market in bootleg fireworks, you will
see a dramatic rise in the use of truly dangerous fireworksÖ the kind that are banned at
the federal level. Many of these big boomers are manufactured illegally by the
bootleggers themselves, which is an easy process and highly profitab le compared with
selling imported consumer fireworks. The bottom line is that if you think banning
fireworks is going to reduce fireworks related accidents, you are sadly mistaken. The
accidents will only become more grotesque than they were previously. Regards, Kyle
Kepley

--Kyle Kepley
  Private Citizen


Please do not try to reinvent the wheel at the expense of the citizenry of Florida. The
federal government thru C.P.S.C. already has done the work for us. Fireworks that are
labeled "consumer" are already very well regulated and tested by C.P.S.C.. If the state of
Florida should do anything with its current fireworks legislation, it would be best for all
involved to simply make the sale and use of "consumer fireworks" legal for anyone of the
age of majority. Any other problems that might arise from the unsafe or negligent use of
these items is already addressed with other portions of our state statues. This is how most
other potentially dangerous items are handled ex: gasoline / drain cleaner / swimming
pool chlorine / strong acids ect... All of the above items can cause much more damage
when handled in a negligent fashion then "consumer fireworks".

--Daniel Hilton


Fireworks Tssk Force members listen up! And all you folks who claim family traditions
of setting off fireworks, and those who tout a patriotic right; you are hurting your
neighbors, by insisting on setting off the biggest and the baddest fireworks you can find.
The injuries, deaths, fires, and trauma caused to those who don't share in this "tradition"--
You are making their lives hell on earth! And when an officer of the law tells you to stop
shooting off fireworks because it is traumatizing your neighbors, you go out of your way
to blow up their mailboxes, throw firecrackers at their ho rses, or shoot your aerial rockets
                                                                                            37


purposely at your neighbors' property. Hey, who knows, you just might set their house on
fire, or land one under their car and have a big explosion! That ought to teach all you who
dare stop your "family tradition" or "patriotic right" because by God, you are going to
blow up the neighborhood, hell or high water! Hey let's have another round of beer over
that thought! Is this what TNT Fireworks calls the "new Americana"? If so, what a truly
sad commentary about the citizens of the greatest country in the world. And look who is
watching all you adults--your kids! And they in turn will do just what you do; breaking
the law. In fact,you'll be teaching them to break any law that interfers with their fun. May
God bless America--If we have one have one left to bless in the future. This is homeland
terrorism at it's worst...Who needs Al Queda when you have renegades and rebels?

--SamG




I'll not belabored question of why Florida is reinventing it's own regulations when the
CPSC is doing a very effective job of removing unnecessary danger from consumer grade
fireworks. Instead, I'd like to point out that grouping all aerials together to be unrealistic.
Rockets (aka Missles) have a much greater fallout area than do Mortars and Mines.
Grouping these together places unrealistic limitations on Mortars and Mines. National
Fire Code stipulates 70' fallout area per inch of mortar diameter with a 200' minimum
(not 1000'), and this has proven to be more than adequate given the heights a ttained by
the most powerful repeaters and single-shot mortars on the market. It would be very sad
to go to all this trouble only to wind up with laws that were just as widely disregarded
and unenforceable as the farce they were intended to replace. The c urrent proposal also
fails to differentiate zoning. Other locales have adopted sensible regulations that force
cities (and counties) to designate places within reasonable distance where citizens living
within City Limits may shoot their fireworks. Citizens living in agriculturally zoned areas
are generally left unrestricted. Individuals are expected to adhere to manufacturer/CPSC
guidelines to safely enjoy this very American tradition. The county/state cannot be held
responsible if someone died while cleaning their bathroom with common household
cleaners (that should not be mixed), and the same should hold true for anyone getting
injured by misusing CPSC-approved fireworks. Since there is therefore no liability for
Florida's State/County/City governments, there exists no reason to obviate the CPSC.

--Robert Gammage


Please do not restrict the availability of fireworks. Kids and teenagers get the same thrill
from making illegal explosive devices, even simple ones such as pressurized plastic soda
containers, that they do from lighting LEGAL and safe fireworks. You can't rid these kids
of their urges to make bangs, booms, or sparks, and by banning fireworks you effectively
remove an outlet for some kids and create a dangerous situation - and young criminals.

--Jed Carter
                                                                                         38



Please do not make ANY fireworks that explode legal. Exploding fireworks are
extremely dangerous and should never be used by anyone except professionals. Require a
permit to purchase or use all fireworks, except sparklers. Thank you.

--Sam


I have a professional fireworks business in addition to practicing law. I DO NOT sell
fireworks! I do displays with the larger Class B fireworks. However, I am in favor of
legalizing all Class C fireworks and then regulating them as many states do. In a time
when revenue sources are disappearing, this could well be a significant help to the
economy of Florida. Legalize and regulate. That is the answer.

--Craig A. Dennis, Ashley Pyrotechnics
  Ashley Pyrotechnics, Inc


I believe that anything under a certain size should be legal for adults to buy and use
including shells that launch into the air. Thomas Jefferson was also in favor of fireworks
for american celebrations as are most people. We should not allow a few special interests
to take away our freedoms

--Charles Winfree
  Voter



Please keep the right to use fireworks legal in the state of Florida! They have been a
Fourth of July tradiiton in my family for generations as well as for a couple of centuries
in these FREE United States of America.

--Mikey Mcd


My opinion on the use of fireworks is this: I believe the Florida State Legislature should
most strongly consider fully legalizing consumer grade fireworks thoughout the state. It
would be a great source of tax revenue and jobs to the state is far less dangerous than
drunks on the road drinking legally bought alcohol. They do not cause more fires and
damage than cigarettes, cigars and pipes, all of which are legally bought tobacco
products. I have used fireworks for many years and have never been injured. I have been
in a vicious wreck caused by a drunken teenager, and I have seen and put our fires caused
by careless smokers. The government cannot protect everyone from everything. Loosen
up, Florida, and anjoy the taxes and job opportunities, or consider stopping the sale of
everything you consider harmful, including alcohol and tobacco. Compared to them,
fireworks are a moot point --Jeff Tribby
                                                                                           39


Please, please , the stat of florida must reconsider the fire workes sold as entertainment. It
is dangerrous situation for people and animals. I was born and raised in tampa fl, i now
live in a rual area of hills county . When the fire worke start i lock my dog up so she is
safe and stay up with my hores all night to try to calm him , witch is very hard to do and
also dangerous, but i love my animals dearly ,and will go to any link for their safety. It is
so hard to try to keep a 1200 # horse from going through a fence and ending out on the
road.and then the state of florida is so dry ,what about the fires , dose any body in the
legislative care ? Please help us
--

I am from Hillsborough County & have witnessed the effects of fireworks around our
homes & rural areas. Yearly my neighbors set off fireworks. About 7 years ago with a leg
in a cast I went down to my barn to put out a small fire in my then 36 year old mares
outside run-in stall. I also walk my pasture to clean up their debris. The air is so thick in
sulfur fumes & smoke I cannot see how anyone can even stay outside! I would think that
this would be a health issue to the sick, elderly & even healthy kids & adults. What I do
not get is the state & countys knowingly sell firework products with a signed waiver that
it is used for agricultural use only? I guess lying is not part of the impact or question
here? Do the fireworks companys have NO morals? What deos this message teach our
kids? I have had members & non-members call me about the fireworks in their backyards
set off by people drinking & no regard for other peoples rights & or the well being &
health of others besides their dogs & horses. They call in tears asking "I have this issue
with Fireworks & what can they do about this issue"? Both the July Fourth & News Year
celebration is when we have received the most calls. The Sunshine Sate Horse Council
would like to see this past time of setting off fireworks in back yards of any type ended &
enjoyed by going to a professional display. Please, lets put an end to the needless death,
fires or being maimed. Be it humane, domestic pet or equine this law needs to be changed
& enforced! Thank you....

--Vicki Lawry
  The Sunshine State Horse Council


Every year we hear about children, pets, adults being injured or maimed from improper
use of fireworks. Since, this instrument is unregulated after a person purchases it one has
got to know it's a possibility that whoever buys fireworks potentially put themselves and
those around them at risk. There are so many professional displays different times of the
year that are spectacular and handled well, that it makes little sense to put everyone in
danger because some idiot doesn't realize this or worse, just plain doesn't care. If a child
loses a finger or an eye the suffering lasts forever. Hasn't this happened often enough to
warrant discontinuing the sale of fireworks? I strongly believe it does. I've noticed too
that setting off fireworks and beer drinking coincide...we cannot go around shooting guns
in the air in our neighborhoods so why should fireworks be allowed?

--Katie Snell
  concerned citizen
                                                                                           40



Stop selling these products! There are very few responsible people buying these things!
I'm so not looking forward to New Year's Eve! Not only is it a "tradition" to get drunk,
but now add the "tradition" of setting off fireworks. I'm wondering how many will blow
off their hands, or try to light their faces on fire when they combine these two
"traditions"? May God help us all!
--


As a citizen and member of the fire service, our community has been besieged by the use
of illegal fireworks. This is most prevalent on our barrier island, where thousand of
people light off various types of illegal fireworks on the 4th of July. During this time, the
beach is dangerous to walk on due to flying fireworks and other debris, not to mention
the litter caused by the fireworks. Due to this type of firework use, I can no longer take
my family to the beach to watch the professional displays because it is too dangerous.
This past year, a person lost a couple of fingers due to someone throwing an M-80 on the
ground where he was sitting, innocently watching a professional display. The culprits
were never caught and the victim lost the use of his livelihood as a carpenter. As a young
firefighter, I remember responding to a house fire on a July 5th day. Children were
playing with a large roman candle inside a bedroom, starting it on fire. As a spectator on
the beach watching a professional display about 10 years ago, bottle rockets landed is
some dry sea oaks catching them on fire. I encourage the taskforce to close the loophole
in the current law and make our communities safer.
--Brett Pollock
   West Manatee Fire Rescue

 I urge you not to recommend the approval of any fireworks that explode in
neighborhoods. Also, please recommend a strong permitting process that does no t have
any loopholes in it. Don't be concerned that citizens can or will order fireworks over the
Internet. If you will visit any of the reputable fireworks industry web sites they do not
ship fireworks into states that have† strong fireworks laws. If yo u have strong permitting
requirements, that includes penalties for "possession" of exploding fireworks, the
fireworks laws can be enforced.

--Ann Johnson

				
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