Bill To Change Fireworks Laws Unchanged On Independence Day Week, But Sponsor Is Hopeful

Jul 3, 2018

This Independence Day, many fireworks retailers in Ohio have abandoned the form that buyers had been required to sign saying they’d take their purchases out of state to set them off. But the sponsor of a bipartisan fireworks bill hopes for a lot of changes by next year.

The bill would allow common consumer fireworks bought at specialty stores to be used in Ohio, which the sponsors say is what’s happening anyway, even with what was called the "liar’s law" form.

But Rep. Martin Sweeney (D-Cleveland) said potentially a bigger change is that local communities would be allowed to set their own rules. “Right now, the law makes no sense and there’s chaos throughout the entire state in regards to the deployment of fireworks,” Sweeney said.

Fire officials say that would create a patchwork of regulations – and a coalition of medical groups is opposed to the bill as well. The bill is supported by the fireworks industry, and includes a two year moratorium on new fireworks wholesalers and retailers.  It passed the House by a big margin, and Sweeney hopes it’ll be voted on by the Senate after the election.

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