PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — This Fourth of July will be the first in years when it will be legal to set off all consumer fireworks in the state of Florida.
Prior to April 8, it was illegal to set off any fireworks that left the ground, but the new law isn’t the only reason why local firework shops are seeing an increase in sales.
Ana-Marie Hinson, an employee of the Firework Factory in Panama City, said this year has been much busier than last.
“It’s been really steady in here,” Hinson said. “Sales have definitely been up since last year and we’re super thankful for it.”
Employees of the Firework Factory think the uptick in sales is because the holiday falls on a Saturday, and people have been cooped up at home due to COVID-19.
Carrie Stomp, the owner of the Firework Factory, said a majority of their customers are buying fireworks so they can avoid large crowds.
“A lot of them have been thinking we just need to set them up at home because of the virus,” Stomp said.
Customers like Jeannie Overby have returned to the Firework Factory two times over the last two days to stock up for her at home celebration this year.
“We don’t need to go down by the bay and sit with all those people close by you know watching the fireworks, we can do them at home,” Overby said.
However, PC Fireworks Plus owner Richard McGee said a majority of their customers are buying more fireworks because of the new law that went to effect in April.
“They’re just happy the law’s been passed and they don’t have to sign the waiver and jump through the loophole,” McGee said.
Even though it is now legal to set off all consumer fireworks in Florida, it is only limited to three days: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and July Fourth. For tips on firework safety check out this most recent article.