As Local Laws Ease, Fireworks Sales Begin to Sparkle
The U.S. fireworks industry, just like its patrons who like the Fourth of July, is looking up nowadays. While communities congregate across the nation to watch Independence Day displays, officials of the fireworks industry say that higher and better safety standards, as well as the revenue requirements of cash-strapped states have resulted in a surprising rebound.
This developed as an increasing number of states began to relax laws on the private use of Roman candles, sparklers and cherry bombs.
Julie Heckman, the executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) which is based in Bethesda, said, “What we’re seeing is that a lot of the states said, ‘We’re losing tax revenue because our residents are going to a neighboring state or a neighboring county where fireworks may be sold,’ and that tax revenue is going there instead of into their own county.”
A new law in Kentucky will prevent state residents from driving to Indiana just to purchase and use pyrotechnics that shoot into the air. Such fireworks include Roman candles and bottle rockets.
Meanwhile, in Hawkins County, Tennessee, the sale and use of fireworks will be allowed this year for the first time ever since the Truman administration. The APA said that the District of Columbia, as well as 46 other states, now allows consumer fireworks to be used, while only four states are implementing a total ban on all pyrotechnics sales. These are the states of Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
The states of Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Utah are among those that have started to ease restrictions on the use of fireworks. Rhode Island and Arizona last year became the latest states to permit residents to purchase non-aerial devices like fountain cones, sparklers and whirligigs. These fireworks have been modified to lessen the risk of personal injuries.