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Customers looking for fireworks should expect higher prices

"Last year, they went up 40%. This year they went up another 25%" said fireworks stand operator Gayla Barnett.

ST CHARLES, Mo. — The Fourth of July is less than two weeks away. Just as Americans are paying more for just about everything these days, now you can add fireworks to that list.

An empty tent and tons of boxes to be unloaded. So why not keep it all in the family?

"Oh these are a lot of fun. The stinkbombs. Love these. Glad we got those this year,” Gayla Barnett and Blake Barnett exchanged while looking at their supplies.

Blake’s brother Brooks is helping them get everything situated. The family has operated the President Fireworks stand in St. Charles for 19 years now.
Mom keeps everyone in line.

"You can't sell anything with a stick, a missle, a wing, anything that goes up in the air and the stuff comes back down in people's yards,” Gayla said.

Since the rules fluctuate depending on the locality, it's up to business owners to know what can fly.

"A lot of injuries are caused by bottle rockets…You cannot sell bottle rockets here but across the street, you can. We have a sign up that says when you can legally shoot in the city,” Blake said.

On top of that sign, customers will be greeted with something else, the potential of sticker shock. That's because local businesses are paying more.

"Last year, they went up 40%. This year they went up another 25%" Gayla said.

So if you want it, you'll have to pay. Mom said you can thank the suppliers for that.

"The freight is so high. Two years ago they paid maybe $5k to bring a container into the U.S. This year it was $30k,” she said.

It didn't stop customers last year.

"We literally sold out on the third of July last year. That's unheard of,” Blake said.

And because business requires you so they can thrive, the family is braving the heat to get their stand up and running.

"Were selling fun,” Gayla said.

And as long as the boys keep that in mind, everything will be A-OK.

"That way we get to stay open every year,” Gayla said with a smile.

The Department of Public Safety recommends going to a public fireworks display but if you're going to do them at home, and if it's legal to do so, the department says only light fireworks one at a time. Also, have a garden hose or a bucket of water nearby in case of a fire.

Fireworks are illegal to buy and set off in St. Louis City and County. St. Charles County allows them between the hours of 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. from July 2 to July 5. They're also allowed in Jefferson County, but some local cities have different rules.

Here are more tips for fireworks safety. 

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