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Palm Coast Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2016 3 years ago

If fireworks are illegal, then law enforcement should enforce the law

Apparently no attempt was made by law enforcement against people who set off fireworks illegally.

Why is it legal to put up a tent and sell fireworks?

Dear Editor:

I agree with Bob Gorden’s letter on fireworks noise in the July 7 edition of the Palm Coast Observer. Apparently, the city and county promote illegal fireworks by permitting the dealers to set up tents selling them. I guess permit money takes precedence over selling illegal products.

Bill Simpson

Palm Coast


Why no enforcement of fireworks laws?

Dear Editor:

I wrote the “Why no fireworks enforcement” letter in the July 7 edition. As a postscript to that letter, I suggested that your paper might want to look at the number of fireworks related complaints and what action the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office took.

Your “Stats from July 4” small article only mentioned the number of complaints (57 fireworks and five noise), but not the disposition of those complaints. I looked at the sheriff’s records and could find no arrests, citations or confiscations. Between the state statutes and especially the city of Palm Coast ordinance which is more stringent, I find it curious that 62 police responses were unable to come up with anything actionable.

It suggests that there may be a Sheriff’s Office policy to ignore these violations. And whatever happened to proactive policing? No need to wait for complaints. Just follow the explosions. I did.  I just walked around the corner in my neighborhood, and there was a whole family in plain sight setting off and possessing enough firepower to arm a third world country.

This wholesale flaunting of the law is bad enough, but law enforcement’s inaction compounds the disrespect of the law and makes a big joke out of the whole affair.  It’s particularly a very bad message to send to the children: Come on, let's go buy some illegal fireworks, perjure ourselves by signing a silly form lying about being farmers in need of scaring off birds and, not to worry, the cops will look the other way.

As a side note, I found it both sad and amusing that in your article the Flagler Beach Police Department’s response for their inability to respond to complaints and enforce the law was that there is too much traffic. Apparently, they also said they have to catch someone in the act of setting off illegal fireworks. It seems with just a little effort, that would be doable, but if not, there is also mention of possession of illegal fireworks in the state law and in both the Flagler Beach and Palm Coast ordinances. Doesn’t seem to me that would be too insurmountable to establish and act upon.

Bob Gorden

Palm Coast


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