Complaints Prompt New Look At Firework Law
Michigan's new fireworks law has had some unanticipated side effects, like thousands of noise and safety complaints. The high number of complaints has lawmakers taking another look at the law. Video by fox47news.comvideo
Michigan's new fireworks law has had some unanticipated side effects, like thousands of noise and safety complaints. The high number of complaints has lawmakers taking another look at the law that they might modify. Specifically, what kinds of fireworks might be restricted and when people can set them off.
"We have heard a few complaints about noise, people using them too late at night," said Senator Rick Jones, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
The governor's office to date has received some 2,700 complaints. The new law restricts local municipalities from setting firework curfews for 30 days a year --the day before, during and after the ten national holidays. That restriction has left a lot of people frustrated.
"The noise does bother me, you know," said John Challender from Owosso. "I've got a neighbor that last year shot [one] over top of my house."
But not everyone has noticed a change.
"I don't think it was any different for noise level," said Teresa Schneider from Corunna as she described whether this year it is louder or not. "No in fact, I think our show this year was a lot calmer than what we've had in the past."
Representative Harold Haugh, the original sponsor of the bill, along with Representative Hugh Crawford now co-head the House work group to review the firework law.
"The whole premise of this bill was to add jobs, and bring revenue to the state of Michigan," said Haugh. "The reason, the national holidays were built in, were to prevent fireworks from being used year-round."
Currently municipalities can regulate fireworks 335 days a year. Some of the complaints have risen from the 30 days that surround national holidays that the law protects. Senator Jones speculates that may be one of the things lawmakers change.
"We'll review the law, and look at the city and townships concerns," said Jones. "But I want to emphasize, they have the power right now to control the times to control the days, other than the national holidays."
Haugh says about $60 million of fireworks were sold in the state, supplying more than $1 million for the fire marshal's Training Fund.
"It's a success that we have gotten all of this money in for fire departments, to use now. I think that's a wonderful success," said Jones.
Lawmakers hope to have a list of potential changes for the law compiled by Labor Day, which is the next national holiday folks might hear a lot of fireworks.