The Georgia State Senate voted 44-5 on Tuesday to allow a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would permit the sale and purchase of fireworks within Georgia.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Mullis of Chickamauga, would allow them to be sold within Georgia and prevent residents here from traveling out of state to purchase them, in the hopes that their monies would be spent here (and taxes collected for state coffers).
"People drive hundreds of miles and they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I was thinking, why can't we just do it here, embrace it and put as many safety features in it to make it as safe as possible for the children and adults and anybody," said Mullis at the Capitol Tuesday evening.
“The reality is, if you look at some of the cities that border other states where fireworks are legal, we see people going into those other states and buying them,” said state Sen. Cecil Staton, R-Macon, the second signer on the legislation. “[T]hey’re going to buy them.”
If it passes the House, the measure will appear on local ballots to amend the state constitution to allow the purchase and sale. If it is on the ballot in November 2013, sales could begin and tax collected just in time for Independence Day in 2014 for any jurisdiction that approves the measure - one of the busiest times of the year.