Knox County commissioner speaks on allowing fireworks

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Many people across Knox County heard fireworks going off over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, but that doesn’t mean they’re allowed. Knox County Commissioner Justin Biggs posted to his Facebook Page asking the community if they’d like to see that changed.

WATE 6 On Your Side Reporter Lexi Spivak went to Market Square to see what people thought. “You can be responsible individually with fireworks,” said Randy Davis. His friend Keith Williams agreed, “people are shooting them in the neighborhoods now all around Knoxville and I’m sure the neighbors aren’t turning them in because they’re probably enjoying it as well.”

Noah White also talked about the issue. “Honestly, I think they should be legal, I don’t really see why it would present too much of an issue.” White also acknowledged that fireworks can be triggering for pets and veterans living with PTSD.

Biggs talked about the possibility of a new ordinance. “If we can get an ordinance to where you can have it on specific days, but only during specific times, then after that, it’d fall under the noise ordinance.”

While he said allowing people to set off fireworks within the county would be as simple as an ordinance, it would take a lot more to allow people to sell fireworks within county lines. “We actually have more than 200,000 people that live here in Knox County and in the code, it states that if you have more than that you are not available to sell fireworks,” he explained. Biggs said another option would be looking into permit options within the county.

He also spoke about freeing up law enforcement rather than enforcing the current fireworks regulations across the county. “Anytime that somebody’s out investigating a fireworks call it makes me think what other crimes are going on at that specific time that they might be missing out on.”

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