COLUMBUS (WCMH) — If a firework can explode or fly through the air when lit, it’s likely illegal – but some lawmakers say that doesn’t stop many Ohioans from doing it anyways.
“Lawlessness is occurring,” says Ohio Representative Martin Sweeney of Cleveland. “I’ve seen it for 20 years in Ohio.”
Sweeney doesn’t think the law needs to be enforced more – he, along with Cincinnati’s Bill Seitz, are co-sponsoring House Bill 226, which would greatly alleviate restrictions on consumer firework use in Ohio.
Sweeney points out that it’s currently legal to buy and transport fireworks in the state, “but we just can’t blow them off … it’s not working at all.”
HB 226 would allow fireworks up to 1.4G, which are shot out of a tube and provide a bigger display than what’s currently legal but not as much as many community shows.
The proposed bill would also allow the state to add a four percent fee on fireworks, which would go towards Ohio’s fire prevention and education fund.
If passed, local municipalities would have control over the time frame in which the new regulations would apply.
“If Columbus wants to have it three weeks before and three weeks after (the 4th of July), they can do it. They can control it,” Sweeney says.