FIREWORKS VOTE: Proposal Clears Senate Committee

“It’s just something I love to do, I mean, I love fireworks,” says Rob Strickler.

Strickler started the Facebook page “Let’s Make Fireworks Legal In Iowa”.  Owning them isn’t illegal in Iowa, but lighting them off without permission is.

“There’s always a certain amount of risk to everything you do and fireworks, it seems to me that they’re getting the bad rap,” he says.

Strickler travels to South Dakota or Missouri to stock up every 4th of July.  He spends up to $500 a year on fireworks.  Money he says should stay in state.

“I think it’s time we modernize our firework laws,” said Republican State Senator Jake Chapman.

Chapman is supporting a bill to make it legal for Iowans 18-years-old and older to buy and display fireworks.  It would still give cities, counties and fire officials the authority to suspend fireworks.

“We’ve been talking to our Senators and making their sure they know the dangers of fireworks,” said Dr. Brian Privett.

The Cedar Rapids ophthalmologist sits on the board of the Iowa Medical Society.  Privett says 9,000 people are injured by fireworks every year.  He and other want Iowa to keep its ban.

“We’re fortunate in Iowa that we have a state that cares about the health and wellness of our citizens and we feel that the current law does a good job  of protecting innocent bystanders and children,” says Privett.

The proposal cleared the Senate State Government Committee by a ten to five vote.  It is now eligible to go to the Senate floor for debate.

“A lot of Iowans are shooting these off and I would much rather have a regulated system in place,” says Chapman.

“You know the money is being spent.  You see the fireworks everywhere .  I just think it would be a good year to do it,” says Strickler.

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