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Hate the State Fireworks Law? Lawmaker Hears Your Pain

Not everyone agrees powerful pyrotechnics are a problem. “Repealing [the law] will not get rid of the summertime fireworks displays by the neighborhood idiots,” one Patch reader commented. “It just erases the tax revenue.”

Michiganders are able to possess professional quality fireworks under the 2011 expansion of the state law. Some want it repealed, but others say it allows the state to capture revenue on activity that is already occurring. (Patch file photo)
Michiganders are able to possess professional quality fireworks under the 2011 expansion of the state law. Some want it repealed, but others say it allows the state to capture revenue on activity that is already occurring. (Patch file photo)

Many Michigan residents are smoldering over Michigan’s state fireworks law, which makes it legal to use the more powerful, professional-quality pyrotechnics on 10 national holidays and the days sandwiching them.

They say the loud boom-boom-boom of fireworks hasn’t let up much since the Fourth of July and they want the law repealed.

State Sen. Glenn Anderson, D-Westland, hears their pain. He says he’s sick of the noise, too, and told the Detroit Free Press that he plans to introduce legislation to rescind the 2011 action that allowed the more powerful fireworks.

Anderson was the only state senator to vote against expanding the law in 2011, and his bill would “roll us back to exactly what before” and allow only weak firecrackers and sparklers.

Related:

Some 10,200 people have signed a petition on petition on MoveOn.org to repeal the 2011 law. Their complaints ranged from erosion of their quality of life to safety hazards.

Many worried about the effect of the noise from the powerful fireworks, which can sound like mortars, on soldiers who returned from combat with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Commenting on a story about the petition on Patch, Cathy Wilson wrote: “I think it is absurd to ‘honor’ those who fought for our freedoms by surrounding their neighborhoods with the sounds of war. I have a brother with PTSD. I love the fireworks, but at a distance and in the hands of professionals.”

Michigan lawmakers saw the expansion as a tax bonanza that, at 12 percent, would bring needed revenue into the state. That’s twice the rate on other consumer goods.

The sponsor of the 2011 bill expanding the law, State Rep.Harold Haugh, D-Roseville, said the state took in about $6.4 million in sales taxes collected on the fireworks and fees charged to vendors.

Anderson doesn’t think the added revenue is worth the personal toll taken by the law, including fireworks injuries, fire hazards and demands on local law enforcement to take complaints.

Patch reader Jason Freeman said fireworks activity in his neighborhood is “the exact same … as it has always been.”

“The new legislation just created new tax revenue, and repealing it will not get rid of the summertime fireworks displays by the neighborhood idiots, it just erases the tax revenue. This is the same noisy minority that complains about everything, and to me, you guys are worse than the fireworks.”


RON Ostrodamus July 16, 2014 at 01:55 PM
How old are you Jason? I ask as it is usually the younger kids who love fireworks. In my day as a kid getting a hold of an illegal "brick" of firecrackers was what made the fourth of July fun. Taking that away would be like Halloween without candy and costumes. We heard about some of the big kids using cherry bombs and M-80s in mailboxes and ponds but most of us stayed clear of that temptation as the small firecrackers did occasionally go off and sting our fingers before we could throw them. You are so wrong. Some idiot set of a rocket so close to our Street that a windows shook. It sounded like a war was going on. I was amazed that there were no reports of serious injuries as the sirens of the fire department were heard more frequently. As it was RO dodged a bullet in my opinion. Bet we could make a lot more revenue if we legalized dynamite but don't tell that to the mayor.

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