Fireworks sales began this week and will get hotter as the Fourth of July holiday approaches, according to a Longview-area fireworks business.
While sales had been slow as of early Wednesday afternoon, they are expected to rise steadily until stands close at midnight on the Fourth of July, said Bryan Maxwell, who works at the Fireworks Express stand on U.S. 80 east of Longview.
“We will be running constantly through the last day,” he said.
Fireworks Express carries 600 items ranging from firecrackers to fountains to aerial displays and assortment packs, said Debra Kirby, who owns the business with husband Frank and works out of their 5,000-square-foot warehouse on U.S. 80.
Kirby and Maxwell said artilleries are the most popular fireworks among consumers because they shoot as high as 100 feet into the air.
In business since 2004, Kirby said Fireworks Express has 11 stands in the region.
Fireworks range in price from 50 cents to $100 for multi-shot items, Maxwell said.
Buyers younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult under Texas law, and other restrictions apply for personal use in the Longview area.
The cities of Longview, White Oak and other jurisdictions ban the sale and use of fireworks. Violators who discharge personal fireworks in Longview face fines as high as $2,000 for the misdemeanor offense, Fire Marshal Kevin May said.
The city of Gladewater allows the use of fireworks for people living along Lake Gladewater as long as they shoot them toward the water and a burn ban is not in effect, City Clerk Judy Van Houten said.
The city of Hallsville allows the personal use of fireworks but bans their sales within the city limits, Police Chief Wesley Freeman said.
Restrictions for the personal use of fireworks are more relaxed in unincorporated areas, and fireworks are allowed outside city limits in Gregg, Harrison, Rusk, Upshur and Panola counties because no burn bans are in effect.
Fireworks users may set them off on their properties or on someone else’s land with the owner’s written permission, Harrison County Fire Marshal Thomas Mock said.
Various regulations do apply where fireworks are allowed. Among other things, it is illegal to:
Sell or shoot fireworks within 100 feet of a place where flammable liquids, flammable compressed gases or fireworks are sold or stored;
Shoot fireworks from or toward a vehicle and boat;
Shoot fireworks from a public road, public land, park or lake; and
Shoot fireworks within 600 feet of a church, hospital, child-care facility, primary or high school without written permission.