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Injunction Filed on Legality of Fireworks Ban - This Morning, 11:30am, Friday, July 1, Jefferson County Courthouse, Room 136, Judge Shuffield, Beaumont, TX

07-04-2011 08:19 AM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: Brent Coon & Associates Marketing Department

/ PR Agency: Opus VI Productions
Joe Daughtry, President of the Texas Fireworks Association, has filed a Temporary restraining order and temporary injunction in Jefferson County over the ban on the sale or use of all types of fireworks for the July 4 weekend.

“The county in banning the sale or use of all types of fireworks has created an undue burden on all of the vendors and many will lose everything they own if this ban is not lifted or modified”. We have repeatedly implored the County Judge and the Commissioners Court to compromise their position and limit the use of the types specifically identified as higher risk fireworks products as set out in the Government Code. To extend this ban to sale or use and to encompass all types of fireworks is patently unfair and I don’t think they even have authority to do so”.

Brent Coon, counsel for plaintiffs on the matter says that it is hypocritical, unfair, and illegal for the various counties to ban the sale or use of all types of fireworks.

“The legislature passed specific laws dealing with the sale and use of fireworks in Texas, and has specific laws dealing with certain types of fireworks, often referred to as “sticks and fins”, which can be restricted in drought conditions upon proper notice. In this case many of the counties, and specifically Jefferson County, have exceeded that statutory authority by banning the sale or use of any type of firework. This is clearly outside the authority extended by the legislature.”

Plaintiffs also maintain that in this case the notice requirements for the effort to ban fireworks was missed by the County, as the deadline was June 15 and the order was not signed until June 21.

“We find it troubling that the County tabled consideration of this type of ban until well after the deadline and have now made efforts to enforce the ban at the hardship of the vendors who make a living in reliance on these deadlines. The purchases have been made, the leases obtained, the advertising costs incurred and then the County tries to pull the plug”, says Brent Coon. “On top of that, it is frankly hypocritical for the County to say that no one can pop a firecracker on the Fourth and yet the County can and will have a huge fireworks display involving tens of thousands of dollars of high end pyrotechnics going off this weekend. The county is initiating this ban in a very arbitrary manner, singling out firework vendors to the exclusion of all others. You can still buy and use cigarettes, lighters, propane, ammo and even sniper rifles all over the county, not to mention run huge refinery flares, just no sparklers. The fourth of July celebration is in recognition of Independence Day and freedom from a type of governance that issued unfair and arbitrary rules. Its ironic that the complaint filed today is very reminiscent of what this holiday is all about”.

“The Texas Fire Marshalls annual reports show that the incidence of firework related fires is so small that it never registers on any of the fire loss graphs. In fact, children playing are three times more likely to cause a reportable fire than a firework. Under that reasoning, the counties should initiate a 'no playing' order during the drought, something that would statistically have a much greater impact on the chance of a fire."

About Brent Coon & Associates:

Brent Coon & Associates was founded in 2001. Today, with 10 offices around the country, it is one of the largest trial law firms in the nation and the epitome of the 21st century law practice. Brent Coon & Associates employs over 20 aggressive litigators, with solid experience in individual and complex multi-party, occupational/environmental, health and personal injury cases. The majority of the firm’s cases are referred from attorneys who have confidence in the firm’s integrity, expertise and solid work ethic. The firm has a proven track record for handling complex, multi-party cases, with an emphasis on occupational and environmental law and personal injury practice.

Houston, Texas (Pillot Bldg) ♠

300 Fannin, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77002
Local: 713-225-1682
Fax: 713-225-1785
Toll Free: 1-800-406-8864

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