The Phoenix City Council cleared the way for sales of some commercial fireworks within the city limits through a voluntary agreement with several fireworks companies last week.
The agreement provides that retailers may sell fireworks year-round in certain commercially zoned areas as long as it's done indoors in a building with sprinklers, according to Bobby Ruiz, an assistant fire chief and fire marshal with the Phoenix Fire Department. Temporary outdoor sales locations, such as a tent or covered stand, would be limited to operating between Dec. 20 and Jan. 1. Businesses would not be allowed to sell fireworks to buyers younger than 16.
Prior to Dec. 1, the sale and use of consumer fireworks were illegal in Arizona. In May, Gov. Jan Brewer signed HB 2246, which legalized the use of ground-based consumer fireworks such as sparklers, spinners and fountains, but not rockets or aerial shells. However, the law also gave cities the option of restricting the sale or use of fireworks inside city limits.
Last month, the Phoenix City Council voted unanimously to keep the city's prohibition on the use of consumer fireworks in place. The use of consumer fireworks in Phoenix is now a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to $2,500 in fines and six months in jail.