Fireworks Ban Ballot Measure

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Election Results: View on the Thurston County Auditor's Office website. 

At their regular meeting on December 6, 2016, the Tumwater City Council adopted Ordinance No. O2016-034, prohibiting the sale, possession, and discharge of consumer fireworks at all times within the Tumwater City limits. In accordance with State law, the effective date of the ordinance will be one year after its passage and publication.


The Tumwater City Council passed Resolution No. R2016-013 at their regular meeting on July 19, 2016 to put an advisory vote before the citizens of Tumwater on the November 8, 2016 general election ballot. The measure will read:
 
City of Tumwater
 Advisory Proposition No. 1
 Fireworks Ban

 
Shall the sale and discharge of fireworks be prohibited within the City of Tumwater at all times of the year with the exception of public displays and the sale, use and discharge of small trick and novelty devices?

Shall this ban be enacted?
Yes
No

 


Frequently Asked Questions about the Fireworks Ban Advisory Vote

When did the City Council decide to put this on the ballot?

The Tumwater City Council made the decision by Resolution No. R2016-013 at their regular meeting on July 19, 2016. Find their discussion in the Meeting Minutes pdf-icon-sm. 

Why is the ballot measure called an advisory vote?
The ballot measure advises the Tumwater City Council’s action. By Resolution (No. R2016-013), the Tumwater City Council committed to take action to amend its ordinances, placing such a fireworks ban into effect if the measure passed. By the same Resolution, the City Council committed to maintain the current restrictions that are in place if the measure does not pass.

Are there some small fireworks that are still allowed if this passes? 
Trick and novelty devices are exempt. Outlined in WAC 212-17-025(10), "Trick and novelty devices" means any small fireworks devices that are not regulated as explosives and are not classified as consumer or display fireworks by the United States Department of Transportation. Examples include snakes, glow worms, party poppers, snappers, toy smoke devices, and toy caps. Sparklers are not considered trick or novelty devices; they are classified as consumer fireworks.  

Would the ban prohibit sparklers?
Yes. Per WAC 212-17-025(10), sparklers are classified as consumer fireworks.

What other communities in Thurston County currently have fireworks bans in place?
The cities of Lacey and Olympia have fireworks bans in place.  Unincorporated Thurston County, Tumwater, Yelm, Tenino, Rainier, and Bucoda do not have bans in place. Beginning in 2017, Thurston County and the City of Tumwater have provisions for temporary restrictions on consumer fireworks when extreme fire danger conditions exist.

If passed, would the penalties change for use of fireworks? 
This proposal does not change the penalties for unlawful use of fireworks. It is currently a misdemeanor and is punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

If the fireworks ban ballot measure passes, when does it take effect?
State law requires that any fireworks regulation not be effective in a period less than one year. If the measure passes, the ban would be effective in 2018.

Would the ban apply to only the discharge of fireworks?
This would prohibit the sale and discharge of consumer fireworks within the city limits of Tumwater. 

What are the current regulations for discharge of fireworks?
Currently, legal consumer fireworks are allowed to be discharged on July 3rd and 4th from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. “Consumer fireworks” are defined in RCW 70.77.136 and clarified in WAC 212-17-025.

If passed, would the ban apply to the fireworks show at the golf course on the 4th of July?
No. Licensed public displays would still be allowed.

If passed, could I have a show at my house if I apply for a special permit? 
No. Only licensed public displays would be allowed in the City.