State Task Force on Fireworks Signs Off on Recommendations
The state task force in Hawaii that was mandated to study and submit recommendations on how to curb illegal fireworks has finalized its suggestions on the matter. The panel of lawmakers and representatives coming from the federal, state and county agencies have signed off on the proposals and will now forward them to the legislature.
Among the suggestions agreed upon by the panel include the raising of fines and fees on people or entities caught selling and possessing illegal fireworks. The panel also recommended for an increase in the random inspections of cargo containers.
The recommendations made by the panel were supported by law enforcement agencies. However, Fireworks industry representatives expressed their opposition by voting against the recommendations.
An officer of the Honolulu Police Department, Maj. Michael Moses, said, “I think it was great to bring all of the stake holders together, in particular people from the shipping industry.” Maj. Moses also said, “We had folks from the fireworks industry and they have all of their opinions. It was great to get everybody in the same room and brainstorm how we can attack this very complex problem.”
For his part, Jerald Farley, a representative of the fireworks industry, said, “Fireworks are not going to go away. It’s going to become a major problem. And, the legal fireworks industry wouldn’t be a part of that solution because we won’t be here on this island.”
A total of 6 public meetings were held before a consensus on the recommendations was reached. These were all conducted before Oahu implements a ban on novelty fireworks.