UNF Housing Director: Students will be held accountable for using fireworks

Ronnie Rodgers

UNF Campus. Courtesy of Google

Neighborhood firework displays are a staple in almost everyone’s childhood memories. While you may be able to buy fireworks in almost every store’s parking lot, it is illegal to set them off in a neighborhood or anywhere on UNF’s campus.

The  2017-2018 Resident Handbook has a section on dangerous materials, and fireworks fall under that category.

“The possession and/or use of firearms, weapons, and dangerous materials for use or decorative purposes is not permitted anywhere in the residential area. Violation of this policy may result in immediate removal from housing,” the handbook reads.

Director of Housing and Residence Life Bob Boyle stated that students have and will be held accountable for breaking this rule.

“Students have been held accountable for violating this policy. Specific consequences depend upon the details of the violation and are addressed by the University Police Department, Housing and Residence Life and/or Student Conduct,” Boyle said.

You can purchase the fireworks through an old loophole. Have you ever actually read the paper that you quickly sign while buying the fireworks? It states that you are obtaining them for the allowed purpose.

“Fireworks can be imported, sold and used to frighten birds from agricultural works and fish hatcheries,” according to the Florida Senate, chapter 791.

By signing that paper, you are confirming that you are buying and using the fireworks for the approved reason. This paper relieves the vendor of liability, protecting them, not the customer.

If someone is found in violation of this law, it is a first-degree misdemeanor and the fireworks could be confiscated.   

UNF’s Deputy Chief Bill Strudel explained that the university abides by the same rules as Duval County when it comes to fireworks.

“We will enforce the law.  Sanctions could range from a referral to student conduct to arrest,” Strudel said. “Any illegal fireworks encountered would be confiscated.”

You and the neighbors will have to settle for a smaller display of sparklers, which are legal. To see a full list of legal fireworks click here. If you want to see huge displays of fireworks click here for locations around Jacksonville.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].