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Fireworks ordinance revamped

"The county commissioners just shortened the fuse on fireworks sales in Kitsap.In a unanimous vote Monday, Sept. 11, the commissioners narrowed the time that class C fireworks can be sold in Kitsap County. They may now be sold only from noon on June 28 through 6 p.m. July 4 on any given year. Additionally, they may not be sold between 11 p.m. and 9 a.m. daily during that time frame.Kitsap County Chief Deputy Fire Marshall Derrick Crawley presented an amendment Monday that would have cut off sales at 11 a.m. on July 4, but Commissioner Chris Endresen argued to extend it to 6 p.m. Fellow commissioners Tim Botkin and Charlotte Garrido agreed.Discharge of class C fireworks in unincorporated Kitsap County will be restricted to 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on July 4.Sales of tribal fireworks (which technically are supposed to be discharged only on tribal lands) are not affected by the new ordinance, Crawley said.The ruling effectively slams the door on sale and discharge of class C fireworks over the New Year's holiday. Though sales and discharge are prohibited at all times outside the 12-hour window on July 4, the ordinance language specifically targets the Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 time frame.Crawley said the ordinance was originally going to be enacted last year, but officials realized that residents were going to discharge fireworks on Dec. 31, 1999, one way or another.The new Kitsap County ordinance is stricter than state statutes, which allow class C fireworks to be sold through July 6.Because the local ordinance is stricter, Crawley said it cannot be implemented for one year, according to state statute.The cost of a class C fireworks retail license is $100. Through a loophole in the law, the class C fireworks stands could sell fireworks over the New Year's holiday, although Kitsap County ordinance limited their discharge to July 4.More and more people were taking advantage of that opening, Crawley said. We are trying to avoid conflicts. It provides consistency regarding fireworks regulations.Crawley said discharge of class C fireworks outside the 12-hour window on July 4 is a class I civil infraction punishable with a $475 fine. "

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