BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — A Kitsap County judge in northwest Washington state has banned a popular fireworks stand until its owner meets city and state licensing requirements.
The Kitsap Sun reports (http://bit.ly/20uPbT2) in a story on Saturday that Judge Kevin Hull sided with the city in a lawsuit contending the stand sold fireworks banned under state law, creating a hazard.
“We feel (the decision) makes that area safer,” said Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent. “And I think that within our city limits, anything we can do to enhance the safety of our residents is beneficial.”
The fireworks stand has operated on federal “land in trust” that’s similar to a tribal reservation. The city filed the lawsuit nearly two years ago to close it.
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Kevin Chambers, a representative of the family that that owns the property, says they disagree with the decision.
“We don’t believe they have the jurisdiction to rule on anything,” Chambers said. “Local governments here never have had any say over federal land.”
Chambers has previously said they’ve been licensed by the Suquamish Tribe to sell fireworks there.
The land was purchased by the U.S. government in the 1920s for a member of the Quinault Tribe and has remained in the family ever sense.
The city contends that the property is miles away from a tribal reservation and shouldn’t be allowed to operate outside state and city rules and sell bottle rockets and other fireworks not legal to set off in the city. The city said people were buying the fireworks and setting them off a short distance away.
Currently, a casino is proposed for the site. It’s unclear if the ruling involving the fireworks stand will influence that plan. City councilors have said they’re opposed to a casino.
Information from: Kitsap Sun, http://www.kitsapsun.com/