Biloxi on board with selling fireworks

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - On the heels of D'Iberville passing an ordinance to allow firework sales, the City of Biloxi is now on board as well. The city hasn't been completely clear in the past as to whether the retail business is allowed within its borders. That's what the city council has been trying to fix.

The City of Biloxi has been discussing firework sales for most of the past year. The newest ordinance was tabled at the city's last meeting so some changes could be made. Fire Chief Joe Boney said it was all about the wording.

"There wasn't a clear definition of fireworks, and we wanted that definition in there. You know, the class of fireworks," said Boney.

Those classes include two major categories; the 1.4G, or consumer grade explosive, and the 1.3G, or display fireworks used for large shows. The 1.3G is the kind the city wants to avoid.

"We did not want that being sold on the street corners of Biloxi," said Boney.

So, the city's attorney reworded the ordinance to restrict the firework type.

"That's it really, was to clarify the existing ordinance," said city council President Paul Tisdale.

Tisdale was glad to see the ordinance pass with a unanimous vote.

"It does permit the sale of fireworks, the retail sale, not linked to any particular event, although it is linked to two holidays," said Tisdale.

Those two holidays are the 4th of July and New Year's Eve, but you can't decide you want to set up a stand one day and be selling fireworks the next. There's a bit of a process. You have to get on the planning commission's calendar weeks in advance, and the sales can't start until two weeks before the specified holidays.

Even though you will now be able to buy fireworks in Biloxi, you still won't be able to shoot them in city limits. As for the city changing that policy, Tisdale says that's a fuse he would rather leave unlit.

"It's one of those things that no matter what you do, I think half the folks would be upset with you," said Tisdale.

Although shooting fireworks within city limits is illegal, the Harrison County Sand Beach Authority says it's still ok to shoot them on the beach, but this new firework sales policy won't go into effect until 30 days from Tuesday. So, unless additional action is taken by the city, it won't be in place in time for this year's 4th of July celebrations.

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