Lawmakers close to legalizing sparklers - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Lawmakers close to legalizing sparklers

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Posted: Saturday, June 27, 2009 7:35 pm | Updated: 12:56 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Arizona is just two steps away from a new law legalizing sparklers.

But you won't be able to buy them in time to celebrate the Fourth of July this coming weekend.

Without debate, the Senate gave preliminary approval Saturday to legislation that would repeal laws which make sale and possess of sparklers and similar devices a crime. And there appears to be enough support when the measure gets its final roll-call vote, perhaps as early as Monday.

The House already has approved HB2258. That would leave only the signature of Gov. Jan Brewer as the last hurdle. And Brewer, who told Capitol Media Services of her fond memories playing with sparklers while growing up in California - and how she let her own children play with them while on vacation - has all but said she intends to sign it.

Under the terms of the legislation, buyers would have to be at least 16. But there is nothing in the law that makes it illegal for a child to have one.

The measure does permit cities to ban sparkler use, but not the sale. So some urban dwellers may have to take the devices out beyond the city limits.

Only thing is, the legislation does not have an "emergency clause,'' a legal procedure that would allow it to take effect the moment it was signed by the governor.

That would require the support of two thirds of both chambers. But the measure cleared the House backed by only 34 out of the 60 representatives, with foes siding with firefighters who oppose the change.

Without the emergency clause, legislation takes effect 91 days after the Legislature finally shuts down for the session. And with lawmakers still debating the budget and other issues, that makes late September the earliest possible date for the legal use of sparklers.

Halloween, anyone?

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