Iowa Senate bill to change state law for fireworks - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Senate bill to change state law for fireworks

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - It may not be July 4th just yet, but fireworks are on the minds of some Iowa lawmakers.

An Iowa Senate bill is trying to change the state law regarding fireworks. The bill would legalize the sale and use of fireworks in the state for those at least 18 years old.

Under current law, people can possess them, but only licensed professionals can set them off. Surrounding states, however do legally sell fireworks. Iowans can go to Missouri or Wisconsin, for example, purchase fireworks, and then bring them back over the state line.

Some public safety officers, though, strongly oppose the bill.

"It's going to create a greater propensity for injuries to the citizens of Iowa and it's also going to create more property damage," said Cedar Falls Fire Chief John Schilling.

Supporters of the bill call Iowa an economic island, and say legalizing sales could boost the business and jobs climate.

"Nobody's really firing fireworks in Iowa, right? We know they do. So we have all the dangers but none of the benefits," said Sen. Jeff Danielson, D-Cedar Falls.

"It keeps it out of the hands of minors and it allows cities to opt out. So I think it's good for the economy and good for jobs," said Rep. Walt Rogers, R-Cedar Falls.

The bill has already passed the State Government Committee in the Iowa Senate, and now faces Senate floor approval.
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