Dozens of vendors who sell fireworks in D.C. every summer around the Fourth of July have filed suit against the city after they were denied permits this year.
The 27 retailers operate pop-up fireworks stands that are regulated and inspected each year.
D.C. cited coronavirus concerns and the ongoing demonstrations for racial justice as reason for denying the permits.
However, big box retailer Costco is allowed to sell fireworks in D.C.
The lawyer representing the vendors told News4 the ban is unfair and illegal.
Operating a licensed fireworks stand in D.C. is a business often passed down through generations, and stands can provide a family’s income for an entire year.
A spokesperson for Mayor Muriel Bowser declined repeated requests from News4 for comment or explanation as to why the permits were denied and why Costco is being allowed to sell.
Police in the D.C. area have said they are receiving a record number of fireworks complaints during the pandemic.