Hasn’t the time come for Illinois to step into the 21st century and follow the lead of other states to make the full line of consumer fireworks legal for sale and use in the state?
Forty-six states now permit the sale and use of some level of consumer fireworks. Those states have recognized two factors: first, the products are safer today than they have ever been, and second, the sale of consumer fireworks can raise some badly needed revenue for the government.
Everyone loves fireworks. People love to watch professional displays, but they also love to shoot their own backyard fireworks.
Illinois legislators have the power to change the fireworks laws and bring Illinois to parity with so many other states that permit the sale and use of the full line of consumer fireworks. This is long overdue.
While imports of fireworks have doubled from 117 million pounds in 1994 to 234.1 million pounds in 2011, the number of fireworks-related injuries, as reported by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, has dropped more than 23 percent from 12,500 to 9,600 over the same period.
Write or email your legislator and ask for legalization of the full line of consumer fireworks in Illinois. Take Illinois out of the consumer fireworks dark ages and into the modern era.
Note to readers – William A. Weimer is vice president of Phantom Fireworks.