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Fireworks remain popular despite questionable legality

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Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2014 4:31 pm

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Sky King Fireworks in Sarasota was a very busy place on Thursday.

“It is fireworks and I like to see things go boom,” said Nichole Dickinson in the fireworks store parking lot.

But in Florida, only sparklers are legal to buy and use in the state.

“Bottle rockets, firecrackers, roman candles those types of things, sky lanterns that we are seeing now, those are all illegal,” said West Manatee Fire Deputy Chief Brett Pollock. He tells ABC 7, even though fireworks are against the law many people still choose to shoot them off.

“The fire service will be out there for response to fires and for injuries, law enforcement will be doing their enforcement of the illegal fireworks.”

Fireworks are illegal to shoot off but a loophole in the law allows fireworks to be sold in Florida for agricultural use only. Customers must sign paperwork saying they are buying the fireworks for agricultural use. Joshua Foster said it was easy to do.

“You just fill out a paper, where I live and my name and drivers license number and put were I am going to launch them at and just go in the store and buy them,” said Joshua Foster. He spent $151 inside Sky King Fireworks and most of what he bought is illegal to fire.

Sgt. Scott Osborne with the Sarasota County Sheriffs Office says they respond to a lot of complaints about illegal fireworks.

“The first thing we are going to do is make sure everything they are doing is lawful. If they do have unlawful fireworks typically we will seize them and if we have any more problems with them then we normally deal with that with a citation.”

Nichole Dickinson shoots off fireworks every 4th of July.

“I haven’t really got in trouble for them yet,” she says.

And the threat of getting into trouble isn't enough to keep her from buying and shooting them off.

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