Fireworks Bill Advances Despite Opposition

Despite fifty minutes of largely critical testimony on February 6, a divided Senate subcommittee approved legislation (SSB 1051) to legalize sales of fireworks in Iowa. The sales can occur in tents or buildings in time periods overlapping July 4 and January 1. Senators Jake Chapman (R-Adel) and Jason Schultz (R-Schlesweig) supported the bill, which Senator Janet Petersen (D-Des Moines) opposed.

 

Representatives of health organizations, local government, firefighters, veterans, and EMS personnel spoke against the legislation, citing:

 

* The high risk of injuries to children (e.g., the rate of child injuries from fireworks is six times higher in Missouri, — where sales are legal – than in Iowa)

* The increased risk of anxiety and PTSD from fireworks

* The inherent hazardous character of fireworks and the difficulty of ensuring a safe distance

* The increased demand on EMS and firefighters, especially in rural areas dependent on volunteers

* The lack of an opt-out option for local governments

 

 

The Iowa-AAP has registered against the legislation, which now goes before the Senate State Government Committee.  The Des Moines Register has a long report on the hearing.

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