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Court denies injunction to challenge Jefferson Co. firework ban - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Court denies injunction to challenge Jefferson County firework ban

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In a last minute effort to make money, the Texas Fireworks Association today filed suit to get permission to open their stands this weekend, but the association didn't get very far.

Right now there are really only two options.

Stand owners can risk selling their products and face the criminal courts to challenge the ban, or take the issue to a lobbyist to fight for them in Austin.

On the cusp of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, fireworks stand owners are unable to sell any products.

Attorney Brent Coon represents the firework stand owners.

Coon says, "The sad reality is you have dozens of fireworks vendors - small businessmen in this community that make most of their money two times a year - Fourth of July and New Years."

In a last minute legal battle in Judge Mickey Shuffield's civil court Friday afternoon, the Texas Fireworks Association, represented by Attorney Brent Coon, was denied a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction because Shuffield ruled his court did not have jurisdiction in the issue.

The injunction would have allowed the sale of the holiday staple this weekend.

Coon says the disaster declaration which banned the sale and use of all fireworks is unfair to stand owners, who filed for permits and stocked inventory well ahead of any partial ban.

Assistant District Attorney Tom Rugg says there's no question as to whether the county filed the ban legally and on time and any dispute over the legality of the ban is strictly under the jurisdiction of a criminal court, not a civil one.

Rugg says, "If one of the folks involved in the fireworks business felt very strongly that this statute's wrong and shouldn't be enforced, then the way they would challenge that is by violating that - getting themselves arrested, being charged with a Class B misdemeanor and then challenge that statute in the court of law."

Coon says the only other alternative would be for the fireworks association to get a lobbyist to fight on their behalf to the legislature in Austin.

Both options are long term and won't see a decision at least before this weekend.

Fireworks shows scheduled in Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Jasper do not fall under the fireworks ban restrictions.

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