New bill introduced to make shooting some fireworks legal

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Americans are about to celebrate the birth of our nation. Lighting up the night sky with fireworks is just part of the festivities.

The problem in Ohio, as we all know, is it is not legal to shoot off the colorful fireworks. That could change if a bill in the Statehouse passes.

It's a delight to sit back and watch fireworks and listen to the kids of all ages go "ooh" and "ahh."  But, if you shoot off your Roman Fountains and bottle rockets this Fourth in Ohio, you're breaking the law.

"Right now we have a law, we call it the Liars Law basically."

Over the last 35 years, politicians have forced fireworks lovers in the Buckeye State to lie about using the colorful and loud, fun explosives at home to celebrate the Fourth of July and other special occasions.

Representative Martin Sweeney said, "You can buy the fireworks. You can transport them, but you can't blow them off."

If House Bill 226 passes, which was introduced by Representative Sweeney, you will be able to use more and larger fireworks, up to 1.4G, which is less than what professional shows use. His bill would allow home rule so each city could decide if residents can make their neighborhoods go "BOOM."

Stephen Munhollon, of Cleveland, wants the government to get out of the way and let people do what they want.

"I think even in a fake democracy, if you're not hurting somebody, you're not taking advantage of anybody you should be able to do whatever you want. That goes across the board, fireworks included."

The nation celebrates its 241st birthday on July 4. The people Cleveland 19 News talked with, including Lana Sparks at Edgewater Live, are for the new proposed law, with conditions. "I guess it depends whose hands they're in. Around kids and everything, it's not good. But for adults, responsible adults, I guess."

Sweeney says there is another important reason to let Ohioans shoot off fireworks, safety.

"One thing that was eye-opening during the testimony. The fire chief came and said state reps, governmental accountability committee I want to be able to educate the folks and give them some safety training on how to discharge these things and I can't do it because it's illegal to do it."

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