Fireworks bill lights up committee

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On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard a bill allowing the sale and use of aerial fireworks in Minnesota. Proponents of the bill say aerial fireworks are already being purchased by Minnesotans in bordering states for use at their homes, so the state might as well gain from the sales tax revenue.

Opponents are concerned about safety, citing a sharp increase in fireworks-related injuries starting in 2002, when non-aerial fireworks were made legal in Minnesota. They fear injuries would increase even more if aerial fireworks were legalized. Some in the fireworks industry also fear there aren’t enough protections in the bill to safely operate businesses in Minnesota—there is no permitting or requirements for security or training for those selling fireworks in the current bill.

The bill moved on a divided voice to the Local Government Committee. (SF 235)