Should consumer fireworks be outlawed?

Slightly OT, but Sunday there was a story in our local paper about lawmakers wanting to reenact the ban on consumer fireworks in the state. The “pro” ban had all kinds of valid points: farm animals suffer (a horse died last year :frowning: ), pets run away, people move here for the quiet, and finally, several military vets spoke about the suffering due to PTSD being triggered. The “other side” of the debate was, “a ban won’t work anyway.” I was so annoyed at the reporter for even framing it that way. That’s not “another side.”

(Edited for stupid typo. The horse died :frowning: Autocorrect had changed it to “did” and I “did” nt notice.)


Yes! All good reasons, I’d say. They’re banned where I live too, but it seems that cops have zero interest in enforcing the ban.


We’re in year 2 of a drought, so I imagine a lot of the state wardens might be interested in enforcing it.
One hopes.


Fire and environmental damage are two other major reasons.




Thanks for splitting the topic @milliefink .
Aside from an all-out ban, in our area they were talking about limiting the times of year they can be sold, like around “fireworks” prone holidays.
I guess that would be better than nothing, but I wish they would just re-enact the ban.


Someone in our neighborhood has been setting off something that sound way more powerful than an M-80 about every 4-5 days. It’s always after the sun goes down. I think it’s from the street over from ours, but it’s so loud that it seems to be right outside our front door. Are they selling 1/2 sticks of dynamite these days?


Please add the autistic community to those who would love a ban.
When this (frequently) gets argued about on Nextdoor, the argument for the fireworks seems to be…something something FREEDOM.


The other side of it that yes a ban won’t work. Fireworks show up anyway. But in many areas the people most likely to see enforcement of that ban, and often times the people with the biggest cultural affinity for them. Are non-whites. So in practice recreational fire work bans often become another excuse to over police those communities.

Fireworks of all sorts are deeply entrenched in the cultural, and sometimes religious, traditions of a whole lotta people.

Honestly noise complaints in general. Complete with “people move here for the quiet”, and concerns about pets and vets. Often follow that pattern. Whether boom boxes on porches, or suspiciously ethnic backyard barbeques.

There’s certain good cause to regulate recreational fire works given the risk of fires and finger loss. But hard bans “don’t work” in the sense that they tend to cause more harm they avoid. Just different kind of harm.

My own state has sort of decriminalized recreational fire works. Not quite what it is, but it’s the best way to describe it. Less risky, weaker fire works are now legal. I’m pretty possession of them is no longer crime, and lighting off has much lower penalties. Unless you cause some harm. And enforcement is more linked to shit like fire risk than broken windows shit.


Very likely, but I don’t know.
Our neighbor has this little “cannon” thing that he loads with gunpowder and sets off on NYE. It’s SOOO loud. He usually gives us a warning that he’s going to set it off that night. The animals all get so unsettled (we used to raise laying hens and also have house pets). And I’m always worriedly expecting ambulance sirens after he sets it off. It seems so dangerous.

My point was that the “other side” didn’t make any salient points about why fireworks should be allowed. Just saying a ban won’t work isn’t really making a case that allowing something in the community is for the greater good.
And I get your point about laws like this potentially being used to target already marginalized communities, but that’s not at all what we have here where I live. It’s a bunch of conservative white guys screaming about “muh freedumbs” while a bunch of conservative white military veterans and farmers calmly ask them to respect their desire for peace and calm.


Well, obviously! As the GQP lets us know, you’re not using your FREEDOM right unless someone else is hurt! /s


I’m not sure that’s all that mutually exclusive. I mean hell my neighbors of that ilk called the cops on the Hondoran family across the street over sparklers last summer. And sparklers are legal here.

It’s not necessarily “might” either it’s a pretty well documented impact. It’s one of the major reasons my state (NY) loosened things up.

And those sorts of “quality of life” complaints almost always play out that way.

It’s also something Bill Di Blasio caught absolute hell over just last year. Early summer last year there was a little media panic about “mysterious explosions” then “excessive fire works use” in and around NYC. Di Blasio rolled out a “special task force” that amounted to a round up of brown kids in outer boroughs neighborhoods. This despite the fact that Di Blasio had made pushing back on this exact thing part of his campaigns in the past.

Near as I can tell there weren’t any more fireworks running around than usual. The city was merely getting more calls about them. Similar thing way out here by the potato fields.

Like I said not a reason to cut all restrictions, but it’s a good reason to give bans a side eye.

Hell those sparklers shouldn’t be legal. From what I recall it’s those and roman candles that are responsible for most of the fires.

Every time we hear that bang, our first words are “holy shit!” Our neighborhood is predominantly white and while it’s becoming more and more culturally diverse, the illegal fireworks in our neighborhood is, by far, set off by white dudes.

If it were twice a year (NYE and July 4th, even CNY) we could deal, but people shoot off loud fireworks for no apparent reason. Much like the dudes who drive muscle cars and drag race on the road behind us, or do donuts in the intersection, these guys like to make noise. :angry:


That’s what got brought up at our recent state discussion that started this whole derail topic. Especially on lakes and other bodies of water. It’s just constant, allegedly.

Same here. I think that’s part of the disconnect re: racial stuff in my point vs. what @Ryuthrowsstuff is bringing up. We have something like 0.2% “anything other than white” (I exaggerate, but not much) around here. So though I understand the potential of a ban being weaponized, that’s not even really on my radar, locally.


As of a few years ago one could purchase full sticks of dynamite at one of our local hardware stores (with the correct ATF paperwork, supposedly). I haven’t looked lately, that kinda freaked me out.

Michigan removed the ban on flash and bang fireworks under the Governerd regime. That first 4th of July, one of the local weather guys blew his own eye out. It was like a walking, televised billboard for why flashy/bangy fireworks should not be legal immediately volunteered. Yet, these things are still legal. :woman_shrugging: I don’t get it other than the GQP still controls the state house due to Gerrymandering, and their single policy position is maximizing cruelty.

I live across the street from a fairly large park and people blast off mortars (more powerful than an m-80) from Juneteenth to about July 10 in one of the parking lots or at the basketball courts. These are the optimal locations for maximizing the volume of the explosions within our house. Our police are stretched pretty thin and can’t enforce the fact that blasting fireworks in the park is illegal (there are 3 other large parks in the city they also need to deal with). It totally sucks for our cats. I pity our youngest (~15 months old) since he came home mid-August last year - he’s totally going to pee or poop somewhere other than a litter box. :frowning: He did OK last weekend, but the 4th…it’s pretty much a war zone around here.


That’s a poor comparison. An M-80 was a fire cracker, mortars are aerial fireworks.

M-80’s have also been pretty much unavailable in the US for decades. The federal government basically regulated them out of existence, they’re above the cap on how much flash powder can be in a firework without requiring a license.

So you can’t really get anything more powerful, or even as powerful as the M-80s and cherry bombs of old these days. Most things sold as M-80s today are the same tiny fire cracker you see all over packed in an oversized, clay filled tube to increase the volume.

From what I understand many of the mortars are more dangerous (in terms of injuries) than other types of fire works. But that’s mostly down to the propellant charge used to launch them, which is basically the same as a model rocket motor. And isn’t really included in the cap on the amount or kind of explosive. But when they fail or get pointed in the wrong direction it’s pretty dangerous.


Around here, the neighbors have a dog that they got during COVID. On Victoria Day, with all the bangs from the park behind them, with their windows all closed, I could still hear the poor thing.


I’m very much not looking forward to NYE in Germany. Parts of the city will be a war zone, again.
Last time was comparatively quiet, an I really enjoyed it.

Also, speaking of “culture”: culture is subject to change.

Oh, how do I hope this will change for the better.