Bill introduced to allow possession of fireworks in NY
Posted at: 07/03/2012 2:40 PM | Updated at: 07/03/2012 10:57 PM
Wednesday is 4th of July and there will be many fireworks celebrations. Many of these displays will be done by individuals who are violating state law. But one local representative wants to make it legal for state residents to purchase fireworks.
New York State Assemblyman Brian Kolb is working to change the current state law that bans all fireworks. Kolb is not suggesting that more dangerous fireworks like firecrackers, rockets or roman candles be legalized but safer "Class C" fireworks like "mine" and "cake" devices. They will contain limited amounts of explosives and are considered safer than most explosives.
Assemblyman Kolb said, "The difference with these particular fireworks compared to most is they burn hot. In other words, when they go up in the air they're hot, but when they come back down to the ground they're cold"
The bill would restrict the sales to people over the age of 18. Kolb credits his constituents with the idea.
"Forty six other states in the nation allow these types of fireworks, but not New York," said Kolb. "Obviously, another one of those rankings we don't want to have."
Though Kolb believes in getting New York off the short list of states that ban firework sales, many people that News10NBC spoke to in Canandaigua about the bill were skeptical of the bill.
Dee Robinson said, "I don't think they should be legalized in New York. You hear about it all the time on the news and I just don't think that should be allowed."
Even when asked about low-grade fireworks, Robinson was against them. She says,"Anybody can get hurt."
Another resident, Sarah Johnson, said, "I would say OK for in the country, but not right here in town. Houses are too close together. Too many kids."
But in his defense, Assemblyman Kolb says there are all kinds of ways kids can get injured besides fireworks.
Kolb said, "If they get too close to a hot stove or a hot engine on a car, these are the sort of things you're always dealing with. With adults and controlled usage, they have to get a permit. And obviously I think most people are conscientious when you have small kids around to make sure that the area is secure and safe."
Kolb's bill would not apply to New York City, where lawmakers have raised concerns about legalizing even small fireworks. Kolb claims that according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, firework injuries sent 8,000 people to the hospital in 2010 but tens of thousands were treated for trampoline accidents.
The bill is currently in committee and has already passed the State Senate. However getting Governor Andrew Cuomo's support might be the most difficult task. In 2011, Governor Cuomo vetoed another bill to allow sparklers and ground displays.