Lansing-area State Reps aim to reform firework laws in Michigan

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The Independence Day fireworks over South Haven, as seen from South Beach. (July 3, 2016)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – State Representatives Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) and Kara Hope (D-Holt) have reintroduced legislation that aims to repeal the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act of 2011.

Their proposed legislation would also “establish safer guidelines and seeks to minimize the amount of firework-related injuries, damages and disturbances.”

Lansing city ordinance allows for fireworks to be used between certain times on Saturday and Sunday before Memorial Day and June 29 to July, but residents report “frequent violations and irresponsible use of fireworks daily,” the representatives said.

The representatives cited complaints regarding sleep disruption and PTSD.

“With Memorial Day right around the corner, I see no better time to crack down on this issue,” said Anthony. “Every summer, I read new stories of firework-related injuries and property damage when residents attempt to launch powerful, consumer-grade explosives. It’s clear our current laws aren’t working. At a state level, we have the ability to take action right away and prevent these troubling incidents from happening again this summer.” 

The Michigan Fireworks Safety Act was signed into law in 2011 and aimed to increase state revenue by encouraging residents to buy fireworks in Michigan instead of nearby states.

“This is a problem that affects communities across the state, not just in Ingham County,” explained Hope. “We continue to see broad, diverse support from residents, legislators and local elected officials across the state. Local government and fire safety officials are in the best position to make decisions about fireworks usage in their own communities, and Michiganders deserve to feel safe in their own neighborhoods.”

House Bills 4888-4892 are cosponsored by State Reps Stephanie Young (D-Detroit) and Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit.)

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