Many Connecticut Firefighters Not Happy About Bill to Legalize Fireworks
It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.
I love watching big, organized fireworks displays and I don't think I'm alone in that. With that in mind, it does bother me when people in my neighborhood gather on the large communal lawn near us and set off their own fireworks. Frankly, besides the possibility of hurting themselves, I always think it's just pure luck that none of our roofs catch on fire.
There is a bill that has been introduced in Connecticut, Raised Bill No. 435, An Act Concerning the Sale and Use of Consumer Grade Fireworks that would legalize the sale and use of fireworks in the state.
According to wfsb.com the big argument in favor of it is that fireworks already wind up here, so why not tax them and use the money to help out emergency services. The bill would also help fund the firefighter cancer fund, the regional firefighter training schools and generate an estimated $500,000 in sales tax revenue. The General Law Committee voted 12-5 last week to move the bill to the Senate.
Many Connecticut firefighters and first responders believe it's just not worth it. Walter Summer, CT Fire Marshals Association President told wfsb.com
What this bill does is open it up to all consumer fireworks. So, the federal definition of consumer fireworks is aerial, bottle rockets, mortars, firecrackers, etc., so those would be allowed to come in Connecticut and be purchased by anyone over the age of 21
Add to that is the testimony of the Connecticut Fire Marshal's Association which says in part:
The Connecticut Fire Marshal’s Association opposes SB 435 AN ACT CONCERNING THE SALE AND USE OF CONSUMER GRADE FIREWORKS.
The CFMA opposes this Bill based on the potential of increased injuries to children, increase in fires, increase in responsibilities for local fire Marshals, and lack of continuity with surrounding States. The Bill also does not provide for the State Fire Marshal to create regulations to control access and permiting.
It is currently illegal in Connecticut to own any fireworks other than sprinklers and fountains. If caught with anything other than those you can get anything from a fine of a couple hundred dollars to being charged with a felony.