Hasn't the time come for Pennsylvania 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? Today, 46 states permit the sale and use of some level of consumer fireworks, with Kentucky, Maine and Michigan having all gone to full-line consumer fireworks within the past two years.
Those states have recognized two factors related to consumer fireworks: First and foremost, the products are safer today than they have ever been before. And secondly, the sale of consumer fireworks can raise some badly needed revenue for the government.
Pennsylvania legislators have the power to change the fireworks laws and take Pennsylvanians out of the shadows of uncertainty and illegality and bring Pennsylvania to parity with so many other states that permit the sale and use of the full line of consumer fireworks. This is long overdue.
Since 1994, when the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory first began testing consumer fireworks at the factory level in China for compliance with U.S. manufacturing and performance standards — and 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 over 23 percent from 12,500 to 9,600.
Write or email your legislator and ask for legalization of the full line of consumer fireworks in Pennsylvania.
William A. Weimer
The writer is vice president of Phantom Fireworks.
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