Texas Fireworks Ban 2018: Where Are Fireworks Banned for the 4th of July?

Fireworks Bans

Getty Fireworks Bans

With the Fourth of July upon us, many Texans are wondering if there’s a fireworks ban in their area. The answer is actually a little more complicated than you might think.


Burn Bans Don’t Ban Fireworks in Texas

Unlike many other states, burn bans in Texas do not affect whether or not you can prohibit fireworks in the area, the Star-Telegram reported.  Instead, counties can only prohibit fireworks in certain drought conditions when the soil moisture deficit hits 575 or higher on the Keetch-Byram drought scale (and the restriction on firework sales is issued by June 15), WFAA reported. Some counties have hit that level, but it didn’t happen until after June 15, so although officials might want or need to prohibit fireworks sales, they can’t.

Another way to ban fireworks is by declaring a local disaster, authorized by the governor, WFAA reported. But there must be an “occurrence or imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property” for that to happen.

In some areas that don’t qualify for a ban, local fireworks vendors are voluntarily not selling aerial fireworks, out of concern for the region.


Some Texas Cities Restrict Fireworks or Ban Them Completely

Remember, however, just because there’s not a countywide ban on fireworks sales doesn’t mean it’s legal to set off fireworks where you are. Some local areas may still restrict fireworks or ban them completely within city limits, the Texas Department of Insurance points out.

In fact, even without countywide restrictions on fireworks sales, many cities have still made it illegal for individuals to set off fireworks in their city limits. These cities include San Antonio, Cedar Park, Austin, Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, however, and you should check with your city to see if fireworks are banned in city limits where you live.


Several Texas Counties Declared Disasters To Ban Fireworks Before the Fourth

Some Texas counties have taken the necessary steps to ban fireworks over the Fourth of July. In most of these counties, personal fireworks are now banned but professional shows will still happen.

Johnson County is one of them. They actually declared a disaster over the wildfire threat, banning fireworks in Johnson County. This allows them to ban fireworks for 60 hours, which includes the Fourth of July.

Parker County did the same, and declared a disaster to ban personal fireworks for 60 hours.

Palo Pinto County also issued a disaster declaration to ban the personal use of fireworks.

Stephens County also followed suit, similarly issuing a disaster declaration to ban personal fireworks.

Hood County has done the same. They issued a disaster declaration on Tuesday afternoon.

Erath Countyissued an emergency burn ban, but this does not include fireworks outside the city limits.

Note that this may not be an exhaustive list. Check with your local media to see if your county has banned fireworks too.


Statewide Laws Ban Fireworks in Certain Circumstances

Statewide, it’s illegal to sell or shoot fireworks within 100 feet of a place where flammable liquids, compressed gases, or fireworks are sold or stored, Gray Reed Attorneys & Counselors noted. It’s also illegal to shoot fireworks toward a motor vehicle or boat, from a public roadway, public property, park, or lake, or within 600 feet of a church, hospital, daycare center, or school.


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