Residents in League City still won’t be able to use limited fireworks on their property during New Year’s and Fourth of July celebrations.

The backstory

On May 14, League City City Council voted against updating the city’s code of ordinances to allow residents to light fireworks within city limits on certain holidays.

The vote was 3-5, with council members Justin Hicks, Andy Mann, Tommy Cones, Courtney Chadwell and Mayor Nick Long opposing changing the ordinance.

The updated ordinance would have allowed residents over the age of 18 who hold a permit from the city to discharge fireworks during the New Year’s and Fourth of July holidays, according to agenda documents.

Unless cities permit lighting fireworks in their jurisdiction, Galveston County residents can only light fireworks in unincorporated areas, said Cones, who is also a former League City Fire Department volunteer firefighter.

Those against

Hicks said he trusted League City residents to follow the guidelines for safely using fireworks but did not trust that visitors from other cities would follow the ordinances.

“What if other people from other cities come inside and set them off?” Hicks said. “Until we can figure out how to mitigate that, we may have to do it another way.”

Chadwell, who is also a volunteer firefighter with the League City Fire Department, voted against the amendment, citing safety concerns.

Cones said he strongly opposed allowing residents to light fireworks in the city because of safety concerns and how it would affect the city’s Insurance Services Office score, which is at a 1—the scale’s highest possible score.

“I think this idea is one of the most ludicrous city ordinances I’ve ever seen come before City Council for many reasons,” Cones said.

The ISO assesses fire departments adherence to safety and operational standards to determine property insurance costs, according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

Community Impact previously reported League City will be graded for a new ISO in 2026.

Those in favor

Council member Sean Saunders said he supported changing the ordinance because he has witnessed people shooting off fireworks, despite it being against the law, throughout the week surrounding the holidays. He felt that designating specific days for shooting fireworks would discourage people from using them on other days.

“We’re not going to be able to stop the fireworks,” Saunders said. “We don’t have enough police officers. We don’t have enough fire marshals on the streets to stop the fireworks.”

Council member Chad Tressler said he supported updating the ordinance and felt fellow council members were framing the motion as if it would completely deregulate fireworks in League City, when, in his opinion, the move would simply change the regulations.

“Putting guidelines on safe usage is still an ordinance in place, Tressler said.

Next steps

Mann voted against the amendment but said he would support adding it to the Nov. 5 ballot for voters to decide in a referendum.

“We can try to define the will of the people, or we can put it on a referendum in November,” Mann said.