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.

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