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FIREWORKS BAN: Bill To End 83 Year Law

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A state lawmaker hopes to spark a business boom before the summer holiday.

It`s a law that gets plenty of attention but not much respect.

fireworks ban“In my area, we`re down by the Missouri border, we have a lot of people who go across the border, purchase their fireworks and on Fourth of July, they light them off anyway,” Senator Mark Chelgren says.

He adds it`s time to take our heads out of the sand and reconsider.

“I`ve always been a fan of fireworks, ever since I was a little kid. I don`t understand why we`ve made fireworks in the state of Iowa illegal when a lot of states around us have them legal.”

At least three border states allow the sale of exploding and airborne consumer fireworks.  Three others don`t.  Chelgren says it all points to potential business for Iowa.

“My feeling is, I`d rather keep that economic development here in the state of Iowa.”

Even the state fire marshal admits Iowa`s safety-focused fireworks ban is full of irony.

spenser fire“Injuries occur from consumer or legal fireworks and sparklers - they burn at around 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and they cause more injuries than anything,” interim State Fire Marshal Jeff Quigle said.

But sparklers are legal in Iowa.  What`s more, it was a sparkler which started the infamous fire in Spencer, which leveled the town in 1931 and led to the statewide ban.  Chelgren says while his bill would lift that, it would still allow cities to pass their own ordinances.

“I respect that local control, and I so have no problem with cities making that decision, but I don`t think it should be a statewide decision,” Chelgren said.

Under his bill, fireworks would be hit with a special tax that would be given to local fire departments to purchase new equipment.  So far, the fire marshal is a fan.

“Anytime that we can raise money, yes I would have to agree with that!” Quigle said.

The bill has some Republican support in the Senate but will likely see resistance from fire and consumer safety groups.  After all, it`s a law that`s stood for nearly 83 years.


  • William Denison

    The bombs used in the Boston bombings were made from the powder of legal fireworks, FYI Its impossable to build a bomb with cannibis. Legalize.

  • Mike Cee

    Brilliant. Senator Chelgren suggests we not only legalize something as stupid as fireworks. but put an added tax on them. And the interim fire marshal is so stupid that he understands the reasons for the ban, but he salivates at the mention of a way to tax people stupid enough to buy fireworks.

    It’s no wonder everyone has such a distain for politicians and government hacks. Chelgren and Quigle are both examples of government stupidity.

  • Tom

    “Under his bill, fireworks would be hit with a special tax that would be given to local fire departments to purchase new equipment. So far, the fire marshal is a fan.”

    how about not passing the bill, not needing more equipment, and replacing a fire marshall who care more about budgets than safety

  • Troy Hendrickson

    Shall we then ban anything shown to be as dangerous as common fireworks? Or simply prosecute those who don’t use them in a safe manor, because last time I checked, as many fireworks as you see and hear during the 4th of July, if they’re as dangerous as some would have us believe, entire cities should have been burnt to the ground and children would be walking around missing eyes and fingers.

  • peter

    Seeing as how over the past 20yrs firework related injuries have only DECREASED while overall purchases/usage of them have INCREASED, I’m guessing the FM realized the statistics and determined he can have new and SAFER equipment, while keeping his citizens safer as well. Every 4th of July, every NYE I see fireworks going off, it isn’t like the lack of the bill being passed will cause them to stop, It only brings the lost tax $$$ back into Iowa instead of neighboring states.

    I’ll sleep better knowing that if a neighbor’s house is on fire, my FD will have the best equipment necessary to save lives year round, for a once or twice a year celebration with fireworks, which have only grown safer since we were kids.

  • danno

    “Welcome to the state of Iowa,Where people smuggle in fireworks,But you can walk into a walmart or Thiesnds store and buy a gun,,,PASS THE LAW!!! IT WILL CREATE JOBS+ MONEY FOR OUR STATE.

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