Fireworks bill returns to the Capitol with a bang

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard a bill this week 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 are legalized. Some in the fireworks industry also fear there aren’t enough protections in the bill to safely operate businesses in Minnesota.

The committee added an amendment that would ban the sale of fireworks only in the seven-county metro area.

The bill will be heard next in Local Government. (SF 1621)