Saturday, June 27, 2009

County Judge Imposes Partial Ban on Fireworks Sales

After imposing a ban on the discharge of fireworks, and not imposing a ban on the sale of same, Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert began to have second thoughts, especially when he saw that Harris County Judge Ed Emmett went ahead and banned some fireworks sales. Making their inaction in Fort Bend County look a little weak.

Besides, not all fireworks were banned, just “stick rockets and missiles with fins.” Stick rockets are also known as bottle rockets. You launch them by putting the stick part in a bottle and lighting the fuse.

Supposedly, these kinds of rockets are highly unpredictable and may auger in back on Earth before all of the fuel is spent.

So this led to the “Disaster Declaration for Threat of Wildfires Proclamation for Fort Bend County.” Which was signed the next day by Judge Hebert. Unfortunately, for some reason, what is possible in Harris County is not possible in Fort Bend: the declaration only lasts 60 hours. The 4th of July is 156 hours past the declaration’s expiration.

So Hebert had to send a request to the governor to extend the declaration, which he did do just today.

“A disaster declaration such as the one Hebert signed can only remain in effect for 60 hours. Hebert appealed to Gov. Perry, who has the power to extend such a ban, in order to prevent sale and discharge of aerial fireworks this July 4 holiday season.”

“‘My primary concern is the safety and welfare of our citizens, and I do not believe that the outdoor burn ban adopted by Commissioner’s Court earlier this week is sufficient to protect life and property as we enter the July 4th season under the current drought conditions and heat advisory,’ Hebert said Friday ‘I am glad that Gov. Perry supports this initiative and I appreciate the fast response we received from him extending the declaration.’”

So Fort Bend County is now safe. Maybe.

I don’t have much fun with bottle rockets. They don’t do much and you can’t really control them. The finned rockets supposedly have fins for stability in flight but they mainly ensure that somewhere along its flight it will turn and crash into someone’s parked car. So I usually stay away from them, too.

The ones I like are the mortar shells. The round finless, stickless rockets that are fired out of a cardboard tube. The sale of these, supposedly, is not banned. And used properly, they generally explode after a short flight straight upward, filling the air with smoke and sparks that harmlessly extinguish long before they return to Earth.

Except for the time that I saw one fired horizontally and it exploded just above a field of dry brush turning it into a 100 square foot inferno.

The point is, if the safety and welfare of the citizens of Fort Bend County is really and truly the primary concern here, why not err on the side of caution and issue an outright ban on the sale of all fireworks?

Or would that cause irreparable harm to fireworks manufacturers and sellers?

So maybe we know what is really the primary concern, here, and it isn’t public safety.


Anonymous said...

Stupid politicians being stupid politicians.

Keep selling things that are hazardous to make voters happy.

Tell me cigarettes are bad and allow them to be sold.

So...firewords are ok, I have to wear my seatbelt in the car, but I don't have to wear a helmet driving a motorcycle.

I want consistency.

Marsha said...


Maybe if the citizens of Fort Bend County had elected a real judge who is well versed in law and knows how to write a judgment we would have a safer county. "Boss Hog" is a judge only in his own mind. He never went to a qualified law school or pass the state bar exam'

Bryce Kefr said...

Consistency is nothing, Thats for people who don't like change. I think fireworks are awesome, sure some irresponsible people might misuse them but the highlight of my cross country trip from Tennessee back to California was buying fireworks and shooting them off. Having lived here in southern California all my life, id never lit one off before, but it was so damn fun. I just think think somethings should require a license to show you're not an idiot, like fireworks, or having children.

Anonymous said...

I noticed the judges allow all the stands to sell these fireworks to the public, but then use it to generate fines during a ban. There must be no profit in ordering the stands closed so they go after the residents instead for the fines.

Hal said...

You could say that Fort Bend County is a "fine" place to live.