West Des Moines City Council Votes to Ban Use of Fireworks

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  --  The fireworks debate was settled in West Des Moines on Monday night.

After allowing fireworks for six hours on the Fourth of July, on Monday the council voted 4-1 to ban the use of fireworks within city limits.

Police did not issue a single ticket for illegal firework use in July, in part because an officer must see a person light a firework in order to issue a citation. Officers say the new ban will be just as difficult to enforce.

"It's a little like saying you can buy marijuana, you can possess marijuana, but you can only use it on Cheech and Chong's birthday, it doesn't make much sense," said Officer James Barrett of the West Des Moines Police Department.

Because of the large number of complaints, several council members encouraged residents to contact their state lawmakers and encourage them to reinstate Iowa's former ban on fireworks.