King County logo
City of Kent

Advisory Proposition No. 1

Sale, Possession, and Discharge of Consumer Fireworks in the City of Kent


The Kent City Council is calling for an advisory election to determine whether the sale, possession, and discharge of consumer fireworks should be prohibited in the City of Kent. The prohibition of the sale, possession or discharge of consumer fireworks would not affect properly licensed and permitted public displays of fireworks.

Shall the sale, possession and discharge of consumer fireworks be prohibited in the City of Kent?




Consumer fireworks are fireworks that may be purchased at fireworks stands in Kent. Currently, under the Kent City Code, consumer fireworks may be sold and purchased from 12:00 noon to 11:00 p.m. on June 28th, and from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. from June 29th through July 4th. Consumer fireworks may be possessed from 12:00 noon on June 28th through 11:00 p.m. on July 4th, but may only be discharged between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on July 4th. Under current law, consumer fireworks are prohibited at all other times.

Public displays of fireworks, such as the City’s fireworks shows that occur during the 4th of July Splash event at Lake Meridian Park and the tree lighting ceremony in downtown Kent, are subject to strict inspection and permitting regulations. Proposition 1 will have no effect on public displays of fireworks.

Proposition 1 seeks a non-binding advisory vote as to whether the City Council should pass an ordinance prohibiting the sale, possession and discharge of consumer fireworks in Kent at all times, including the July 4 holiday period. A vote of “Yes” on Proposition 1 is a vote in favor of the City Council adopting a law making it unlawful to sell, possess and discharge consumer fireworks at all times in Kent. A vote of “No” on Proposition 1 is a vote against the City Council adopting a law making it unlawful to sell, possess and discharge consumer fireworks in Kent.

For questions about this measure, contact: Ronald F. Moore, City Clerk, 253-856-5728,

The personal fireworks situation in Kent is clearly unmanageable. As one of the very few remaining cities in the area still allowing private use of fireworks, folks from surrounding cities come to Kent to discharge their fireworks and leave behind a mess for someone else to clean up. A large portion of this year’s 38 citations went to people who don’t live in Kent.

Legitimate fireworks complaints and other more serious emergencies often aren’t able to get through to 911 in a timely manner due to the huge number of fireworks related calls. Response times by EMTs, fire, and police are delayed or worse, don’t happen at all. The barrage of loud noises in some neighborhoods was, at times, indistinguishable from gunfire. The noise hampered communication and could put police, firefighters, and ambulance crews at risk. Police who answered a trouble call this year faced exactly this problem.

Fireworks startle animals, frighten children and senior citizens, and can trigger panic in people suffering with PTSD. Individual attempts to compromise and interventions often result in anger, sowing seeds of long-term disharmony amongst neighbors.

Can’t we simply celebrate all the 4th means to us by enjoying the permitted, professional public fireworks displays?

Statements submitted by:
Gwen Allen-Carston, Dave McDougall, and Richard Brandau,

Please join us in voting “No”.

There are 2 types of fireworks being used in Kent, Legal and Illegal.

Already Illegal fireworks (firecrackers, M-80s, pink stick bottle rockets, etc.) are available at local Indian reservations and bootleggers. They create problems with noise and fires. That’s why they are illegal!  The loud booms you hear, the pink sticks and other rocket debris that you find would still be common in spite of a ban!  Local regulations do not apply to sales on reservations. Facts prove cities that ban fireworks often have more noise, fires and injuries due to illegal fireworks! 

Legal fireworks approved by the State and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are sold by licensed inspected local fireworks stands run by non-profit organizations and individuals. Legal fireworks are enjoyed by many families and bring diverse neighbors together celebrating the 4th in the traditional way, safely and sanely. Many veterans love celebrating the 4th with fireworks and believe they have fought to protect our freedom to do so.

Don’t take away another freedom from families that celebrate the 4th safely and sanely!  “Enforce the current laws; punish the lawbreakers, not responsible people!” Please join us and vote “No” on the ban!

Statements submitted by: Richard Wilkinson, Lorraine Brinkmann, and Colin Hauck,

The opposition appears to agree with us in their statement that there is a fireworks problem. We agree with them that the 4th of July should be honored and celebrated. However, this is not a rights issue but a community issue as witness most of the surrounding communities having already taken this step, leaving Kent practically isolated and alone to absorb everything. The only sane course of action is to ban all fireworks.

There is no venue with logistics to support larger crowds watching a professional display.

911 calls would only increase since all fireworks would be illegal.  Police would be overwhelmed with fireworks citations.

Noise from fireworks would be louder because people would buy from places that already sell illegal fireworks.

Many veterans enjoy watching fireworks. Children love fireworks.

Banning fireworks would reduce historical enjoyment of the 4th by ordinary citizens because of actions of a few. 

1266 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

Sign up for email or text notifications