FIREWORKS BILL: Critics Fire Off Concerns

Iowans fired off a warning about the dangers of legalizing the sale of fireworks.

“We definitley have an uphill battle and we’re going to fight for the safety of Iowans,” says Roger Bissen with the Iowa Firefighters Association.

Members of the House Ways and Means Committee heard from the insurance industry and doctors as well.  Critics are concerned that lifting the ban on fireworks would lead to more injuries and fires.

“We feel we have a good system in Iowa and we wouldn’t want to lessen our restrictions and make things more dangerous,” says Bissen.

The proposal would allow Iowans to set off fireworks without having to get a special permit.  It would still give city and county governments the final say on whether to allow fireworks.

“I don’t like when we have laws on the books that restrict your or my ability to be about to exercise our freedoms based on somebody else’s bad actions,” says State Representative Matt Windschitl, (R) Missouri Valley.

Supporters of the bill say 46 states allow firework sales.

“I don’t think Iowans should be short-changed on that.  Why should Iowans be held to a different standard?  It just doesn’t make sense to me,” explains Windschitl.

Lawmakers are still working on a final draft of the bill.  Once it’s complete, HSB 672 will go to the Full Ways and Means Committee for a vote.

7 comments

  • Bill Denning

    The fireworks are already being used, they are just illegal, but you can go just the other side of the border and buy them….. Why not be able to collect the taxes on them?? and why not be able to use them legally?? it makes no sense that I can drive a hour south and enjoy them but can’t in my own yard….

  • Dawn W.

    I’m okay with selling fireworks in Iowa, but I also want it to be a criminal act of arson when some idiot sets one off close enough to other houses that it lands on one and starts a fire. Maybe if the result of that kind of thing was harsh enough they’d think about exactly where they should light them up.

  • William Denison

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.Whoever supports this should go spend a day at the burn unit in DM.

  • Ishmale Whale

    Unless Iowa closes the border going out and starts searching vehicles coming in, there will always be fireworks coming into Iowa and tax dollars going out. This would have to be done 24/7, because as one who makes the border run, Mississippi has stores that sell fireworks year round so if they watch during the 4th time frame, I would go during any other time to get my 4th stash…which would need to be stored, which makes them even more dangerous in case of a fire where they are stored…

  • Ishmale Whale

    The concern of people not being trained how to use fireworks…There is no training for the novelty fireworks and sparklers that are legal now, and it was a sparkler that started the Spencer fire that caused the ban.
    I am trained in fireworks, commercial and professional display. I have assisted in a few professional city displays. The professional products are the dangerous stuff that requires a permit from the BATFE. People loose limbs due to chainsaw accidents, and I don’t think there is required training prior to buying and using a chainsaw.
    If one is caught under the influence of ANYTHING while shooting fireworks, there should be severe penalties for that because that is where the real dangers are. I shoot electrically, as I am too old to be walking around with a flare or torch. I sit on my deck and press buttons.

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