Injunction to lift fireworks ban was denied by local judge

David Yates Jul. 10, 2011, 5:17am

Due to a prolonged drought, several area counties, including Jefferson County, put in place a ban on fireworks this 4th of July.

Hoping to override the ban, Joe Daughtry, president of the Texas Fireworks Association, had filed an application for an injunction against County Judge Jeff Branick on July 1.

That same day, Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, denied the request, a court official told the Southeast Texas Record.

Court records show that on June 21 Judge Branick signed an order prohibiting outdoor burning and the use or sale of fireworks in Jefferson County.

In his petition, Daughtry argued that the judge overstepped his authority by issuing the ban prohibiting him to sell fireworks on his own property.

"Even if Jefferson County was authorized under emergency conditions ... they still acted in violation of Texas government Code," the suit states.

The injunction request was filed through Beaumont attorney Brent Coon.

"The county in banning the sale or use of all types of fireworks has created an undue burden on all of the vendors and many will lose everything they own if this ban is not lifted or modified," said Daughtry in a news release.

"We have repeatedly implored the County Judge and the Commissioners Court to compromise their position and limit the use of the types specifically identified as higher risk fireworks products as set out in the Government Code. To extend this ban to sale or use and to encompass all types of fireworks is patently unfair and I don't think they even have authority to do so".

Brent Coon said the ban is "hypocritical, unfair, and illegal for the various counties to ban the sale or use of all types of fireworks."

Case No. D190-433

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