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SB 173 Consumer fireworks; regulation of the sale and use, criminal and civil penalties.

Introduced by: William M. Stanley, Jr. | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles


Regulation of the sale and use of consumer fireworks; criminal and civil penalties. Authorizes a person to sell consumer fireworks, defined in the bill, if he possesses a federal permit to sell fireworks, a permit issued by the Virginia Fire Services Board, and a local permit, if and as required by the locality where the sales facility is located. The bill directs the Board to establish requirements and a process for the issuance and renewal of permits for the sale of consumer fireworks. Among other requirements, a permittee is required to carry, with respect to each permitted facility, public liability and product liability insurance with minimum limits of $5 million to cover potential losses, damages, or injuries to persons or property as a result of the sales of consumer fireworks. The bill specifies certain requirements for facilities at which consumer fireworks are permitted to be sold, including prohibitions on an individual under 18 years of age (i) being admitted into any consumer fireworks retail sales facility, defined in the bill, unless accompanied by a parent, guardian, or responsible adult or (ii) working in any consumer fireworks retail sales facility. The bill prohibits a person from, among other acts, (a) selling consumer fireworks within the Commonwealth unless he is a permittee or an employee or agent of a permittee; (b) selling consumer fireworks from a place other than a permanent consumer fireworks retail sales facility; (c) selling consumer or permissible fireworks to an individual who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs; (d) knowingly selling or otherwise furnishing consumer or permissible fireworks to an individual under 18 years of age; (e) purchasing, using, or possessing consumer or permissible fireworks if the individual is under 18 years of age; or (f) selling or storing fireworks that are not consumer fireworks as defined in a standard established by the American Pyrotechnics Association. Certain violations are punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. A person violating restrictions on the hours during which, or places where, consumer or permissible fireworks may be used is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $150 per violation. The bill also creates a seven percent tax on the purchase of all consumer fireworks. The bill provides that revenues from the tax shall be deposited into the Local Consumer Fireworks Fund, created by the bill, and shall be distributed evenly among all of the localities in which consumer fireworks are sold to be used to supplement the salaries paid to deputy sheriffs.