County Code-No Fireworks.

Sarasota County Municipal Code 

(Ord. No. 2003-096, §§ 1—6, 11-12-2003; Ord. No. 2005-031, 5-25-2005)


  • Sec. 58-4. - [Sale and use of fireworks.] (a) Definitions.

(1) "Authority" shall mean the Sarasota County Fire Authority.

(2) A s used herein, the terms "fireworks", "sparklers", "retailer", "wholesaler", "distributor", and "manufacturer" shall have the same meaning as specified in F.S. § 791.01, as it may from time to time be amended.

(3) As used herein "seller" shall refer to either a wholesaler or retailer as appropriate to the context of the transaction. (b) Enforcement and penalties. (1) By whom. This section shall be enforced by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office or by any law enforcement officer, Fire Marshal, Fire Chief or Code Enforcement Officer of the respective jurisdictions within Sarasota County. (2) Penalties. Violations of this division shall be punishable and its requirements enforced as provided under Florida Statute. Violations shall subject an offender to arrest pursuant to F.S. § 901.15 and prosecution pursuant to F.S. § 125.69. (3) Authority to order cessation of sales. The law enforcement agency having jurisdiction has the authority to immediately order the cessation of the sale of fireworks at any business or location that is selling fireworks without all required permits as defined in Sarasota County Code of Ordinance, Section 58-4 until such time as corrective actions are taken and the required permits are obtained. Upon notification by the appropriate law enforcement agency that sales are to cease, the seller shall take appropriate action to secure its fireworks inventory immediately and to prevent the further sale by securing the fireworks in an appropriate off premises locked facility that meets State and Local Fire Code standards. As an alternative to securing the fireworks off site, the business may cease operations until such time as the required permits are obtained and during this time, store the inventory on site if the location is secure and meets State and Local Fire Code requirements. It shall be the obligation of the seller to ensure that adequate security is in place during any period they cease operations. Prior to resuming the sale of fireworks, the seller shall notify the Authority of its intent to resume sales and of the corrective action taken.

(4) Suspension of permit. If a seller has been convicted of a violation of this division or of F.S. ch. 791, and within 12 months of that conviction is found guilty of another violation of this division or of F.S. ch. 791, its permit to sell fireworks under Section 58-4 shall be suspended. The suspension shall be in addition to any sanction otherwise available under State law or this Code. The first suspension shall be for a period of 14 days. In the event of any successive violations of this ordinance or the provisions of F.S. ch. 791, occurring within 24 months of a suspension of permit under this section, the seller's permit to sell fireworks shall be suspended for a period of 180 days. Upon notification of a suspension of the permit to sell fireworks, the seller shall immediately remove their fireworks inventory from the premises and store them in a secure offsite location, which meets all appropriate State and Local Fire Codes. Alternatively, the seller may cease operations during the period of suspension if their premises are secure and otherwise meet the requirements of Local and State Fire Codes. For purposes of this section, a finding of violation includes the payment of the assessed fine by not contesting the notice of violation where there is no court appearance.(5) Minors. Parents or Guardians are responsible for the violations of minors. (c) Storage and sale of sparklers. (1) Sparklers shall be stored and sold in the unincorporated and incorporated areas of the County in accordance with the zoning laws, fire prevention code, license laws of the County and permits issued by the local fire official having jurisdiction and all other state and local laws. (2) All manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers of sparklers shall be registered with the Division of the State Fire Marshal pursuant to F.S. § 791.015. (3) A retailer of sparklers shall be required to comply with the provisions of F.S. § 791.01. (d) Prohibition of fireworks; exceptions; permits and regulations. (1) Except as provided in F.S. § 791.02, 791.04, or 791.07, Florida Administrative Code, Rule 5A-3.001 or under division 2 of this article, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, partnership, or corporation to offer for sale at wholesale or retail, expose for sale at wholesale or retail, or use or explode any fireworks within the County. (2) The Authority shall develop a sworn, notarized affidavit which all sellers of fireworks within the County shall use to determine the entitlement of any purchaser at retail or wholesale to buy fireworks. (3) The purchaser of any fireworks must furnish to the seller, at the time of sale, proof of identification and, if applicable, proof that the purchaser is registered with the Division of the State Fire Marshal and is otherwise in compliance with F.S. ch. 791. The seller shall retain a copy of any proof of registration presented. (4) The seller must maintain an on-site record of all sales, including the name and address of each purchaser, the form of the purchaser's identification presented along with any unique identifier associated with that identification (e.g. drivers license number), and, where required, proof of registration and compliance with F.S. ch. 791. If the seller determines that registration under F.S. ch. 791 is not required, then the basis for such exception or exemption shall be recorded on a form approved by the Authority. (5) Any person, firm, partnership, or corporation who is not registered with the Division of the State Fire Marshal and who, pursuant to F.S. § 791.04, purchases fireworks for shipment directly out of the state, shall not be allowed to take possession of such fireworks. The seller shall retain the possession of such fireworks and shall be responsible for shipping all fireworks purchased to the purchaser or other recipient at an out-of-state point of delivery. (6) Any person, firm, partnership or corporation who, pursuant to rules promulgated by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services under F.S. § 791.07, purchases firecrackers for frightening birds must provide to the seller a copy of the statement that has been filed with and stamped as received by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office pursuant to the rules prescribed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The seller shall be required to maintain the stamped copy of the statement in addition to the information required in paragraph (4) above. (7) The purchaser of fireworks to be used by a railroad or other transportation agency must provide a copy of the business license or other government issued document evidencing that the purchaser is a legitimate railroad or transportation agency. A commercial drivers license, by itself, does not meet the requirements of this section. A copy of this document must be maintained by the seller. (8) The purchaser of fireworks to be used in quarrying or for blasting or other industrial use must produce a copy of the quarry or mine permit or business license or other governmentally issued document showing that the purchaser is operating a mine, quarry or other industrial enterprise. The seller shall maintain a copy of this proof and note the use for which the fireworks shall be used. The seller shall also record the location where the fireworks will be used. The purchaser of fireworks to be used in a public display such as those authorized under Resolution 2003-267, must produce a copy of the current permit from a county or municipality and the seller must keep a copy of this permit with the record of sale. (9) All appropriate local and state permits, registrations, certificates and licenses must be displayed at each retail, wholesale, distributing, or manufacturing site. (10) The seller must maintain copies of the records required by this chapter at the location where the sale took place for a period of four years from the date of the sale. If the location of the sale was in a temporary facility, the records must be maintained at the site for the duration of the existence of the temporary facility and thereafter for the remainder of the four years in a location within Sarasota County which location shall be listed on the application for the permit from the Authority. These records must be available and provided immediately upon request for inspection by Fire or Law Enforcement officials. In the event that the sales location, other than a temporary site, closes or moves, the records required by this section to be retained must be stored at a location in Sarasota County where they will be readily available for inspection by the Authority, Fire Officials or Law Enforcement. The seller shall advise the authority of any change in the location of these records. (e) Fire Authority to issue permits governing the sale of fireworks. (1) The Fire Authority is authorized to issue permits, which shall be required for all sales of fireworks within Sarasota County subject to the limitations of F.S. ch. 791. (2) Any person, firm, partnership, or corporation engaging in the sale, at retail or wholesale, or in the distributing or manufacturing of fireworks must first apply and secure a permit from the Authority. This requirement is in addition to any licensing or permitting required by any municipality. Any sale of fireworks without first obtaining a permit is a violation of this Division. (3) In order to obtain a permit, the applicant, must provide proof of compliance with all State and Federal regulations regarding the storage, display for sale and sale of fireworks at each location listed on the application. (4) The application for such permit shall include proof that the applicant is registered with the Division of the State Fire Marshal as a wholesaler, distributor or manufacturer of fireworks pursuant to F.S. § 791.015, and shall be accompanied by a permit fee in an amount to be established by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners which may be set in an amount sufficient to pay for the cost of regulatory requirements of this ordinance. (5) The applicant must show evidence of Financial Responsibility pursuant to Resolution 2003-267. (6) The applicant must disclose the name and address of all persons or entities having an interest (financial, security or otherwise) in the inventory that will be offered for sale. (7) Each location at which the applicant intends to display fireworks for sale or sell fireworks must be listed on the application. The application must also list the name of the manger in charge of each location and their address. The permit shall be issued in the name of the applicant only and shall not be transferable. (8) The application for the permit shall also list the nature of any other sales or business operations of the applicant, which are to take place at the permitted premises. (9) Once a permit is issued, the permit holder shall have a continuing obligation to notify the Authority of any change in the information set forth in the application for the permit including, but not limited to any changes in physical address closure of the permit holders operations at any location where the permit holder does business in Sarasota County. (10) As a condition of maintaining the permit, the permit holder must comply with all Federal, State and Local regulations governing the sale and storage of fireworks, and must maintain all necessary permits required by Federal, State or Local law, ordinance or regulation. The permit holder must also comply with the record keeping provisions of this division. (11) The Authority is authorized to issue Temporary Fireworks Sales Permits, which shall be in force for a period not to exceed 90 days and Annual Fireworks Sales Permits, which shall remain in effect for no longer than 12 months. (f) Evidence of Financial Responsibility. In furtherance of the provisions, F.S. ch. 791, all sellers of fireworks, must keep in force an insurance policy showing general, comprehensive, liability and property damage insurance coverage on an occurrence basis with minimum limits in the policy of not less than $1,000,000.00 combined single limit coverage for each loss that may result from the activities of the sellers. Sellers must maintain Workers' Compensation coverage as required pursuant to F.S. ch. 440. A failure to maintain this required coverage after the procurement of a permit shall be a violation of this Division and grounds for suspension of their permit from the Authority and the sale of the permitted goods as set forth in Section 58-4 shall cease until such time as the required insurance is obtained. (Ord. No. 2003-096, §§ 1—6, 11-12-2003; Ord. No. 2005-031, 5-25-2005)



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