Yanez Sponsors Bills to Repeal Fireworks Law, Ban Sky Lanterns

Many Michiganders want relief from constant nuisance around holidays
Thursday, February 16, 2017

LANSING — State Rep. Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) said today that he will continue to lead the fight to repeal Michigan’s fireworks law and has introduced bills to repeal the fireworks law and ban sky lanterns.

“I hear all the time from my friends, neighbors and constituents that our fireworks law isn’t working as intended to prevent individuals from shooting off fireworks all times of the night, all times of the year,” said Yanez. “Loud fireworks also create serious problems for some of our veterans dealing with PTSD. There is no such thing as a safe firework: it is an explosive,” said Yanez. "Every year, we read of people who are injured or killed, fires started, property that is damaged, and pets freaking out.  My legislation will take us back to the safer, more peaceful fireworks restrictions that existed before this law was adopted in 2011.”

The Yanez legislation would only allow municipalities to grant fireworks permits for outdoor pest control or agricultural purposes, and for public display by municipalities, fair associations, amusement parks or other eligible groups of individuals. It would also prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from being granted a fireworks permit. The legislation still allows the sale, possession or transfer of certain toy pistols, paper caps, sparklers and toy snakes as well as other small products.

“I believe our best course of action is a complete repeal of the fireworks law, and I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of Rep. Yanez’ legislation,” said state Rep. Patrick Green (D- Warren). “This bill is a direct response to our community’s outcry for change. Of course, we’d like residents to enjoy their celebrations, however this cannot be done at the expense of the high quality of life our constituents have come to enjoy. I hope that we can finally address the problems created by this short-sighted law and return to appropriate and safe fireworks displays.” 

 Yanez is also introducing a bill to ban sky lanterns — a type of firework where a self-contained luminary device uses a balloon to become airborne, and while airborne has an open flame or other heat source.

“I was a firefighter in Sterling Heights, and I know that there is no safe way to use a sky lantern because you can’t control where it lands,” said Yanez. “I’ve talked to homeowners who have had a sky lantern land on their roof. Luckily the homeowners were home when it happened and were able to deal with it and prevent a fire. We should protect our citizens by also banning these particularly dangerous fireworks.”

A third bill Yanez introduced makes technical changes to the sentencing guidelines in the fireworks law.