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Relating to regulation of the retail sale of fireworks.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 2748 would allow licensed jobbers (persons who purchase fireworks for resale to retailers) to sell fireworks to the public year-round if they obtain a retail location permit from the state fire marshal's office.
Additionally, this bill would expand the days on which the Texas A&M Forest Service is required to make its services available to respond to the request of any county for a determination on whether drought conditions exist on average in the county from each day during specified fireworks seasons to each business day. It would also remove the limitation on the period during which a commissioners court may restrict the sale or use of restricted fireworks in specified areas.
Texas Action opposes HB 2748 for infringing on the principles of limited government and and free markets. While we support legalizing year-round fireworks sales in Texas, it should be done in a way that permits and fosters market competition. HB 2748 fails to do that. Rather than allow year-round fireworks sales by all retailers, this bill only confers that special privilege on licensed jobbers. According to the fiscal note, there are only three licensed jobbers in the state of Texas. This would benefit the three licensed jobbers by allowing them to obtain a retail location permit and sell fireworks to the public year-round while preventing other fireworks retailers from doing the same.
Because this bill confers a special economic benefit to a small preferred class of businesses at the expense of others, we oppose HB 2748 unless amended to allow all holders of a retail fireworks permit to sell fireworks year-round. Should such an amendment be adopted we would support the bill.