2009-07-17 / Letters

Out-Dated Fireworks Laws

Dear Editor,

The time is long overdue to change the fireworks laws in this state to provide for sensible and regulated use of all consumer fireworks. Forty-five states now allow for some level of consumer fireworks, and the national trend has been to liberalize the fireworks laws.

Statistics released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission show a reduction from 12,500 estimated fireworks-related injuries in 1994 to only 9,800 in 2007, a reduction of over 21 percent. In 1994, America imported 117,000,000 pounds of fireworks, rising to 265,000,000 pounds in 2007, an increase of over 125 percent. When you factor in usage, based on injuries per 100,000 pounds of fireworks used, the fireworks related injuries reduced by 65.42 percent from 1994 to 2007. That is impressive.

The 1994 timeframe is meaningful. In 1994, the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory began its Quality Improvement Program and testing of the fireworks products at the factory level in China prior to the products being permitted to be exported to the U.S. Most consumer products with which any degree of risk is associated, such as ATVs, Jet skis, trampolines and the like, produce increased injuries along with increased use. Not so with consumer fireworks where use has increased and injuries have decreased.

Indiana legalized the regulated use of consumer fireworks in 2006, and the result is more tax revenue and more employment for Indiana, along with an amazing reduction in fireworks related injuries over the three seasons.

We have an American fireworksbuying public that respects the products and follows the suggested safety rules to keep fireworks use safe and keep injuries down.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, anti-fireworks groups continue to misrepresent the truth about fireworks related injuries. The facts cannot be disputed. Fireworks-related injuries have decreased at a time when fireworks use has significantly increased.

We Americans have celebrated our heritage of freedom with fireworks since 1776 when future President John Adams suggested in a letter to his wife, Abigail, that Independence

Letters Day "ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade… bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward evermore."

Write or e-mail your state legislator and ask that the legislature reconsider the out-dated consumer fireworks laws. Tell your legislator that you support the right to celebrate freedom with fireworks in the spirit of President John Adams, and that you support the sensible and regulated use of consumer fireworks.

Please enjoy the Independence Day holiday with your family and celebrate safely.

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