LANSING – State Representative John Chirkun (D-Roseville) introduced legislation today to tighten Michigan’s fireworks law and allow local officials more say on when residents can use fireworks. Michigan’s 2011 fireworks law allows residents to buy bigger fireworks and shoot them off with almost no local regulations. Since then, many Michiganders have complained about the noise, danger and lack of any law enforcement to enforce the restrictions that do exist in the law.
“Like many of my colleagues, I have heard complaints from residents about our fireworks law, and they want to go back to the peace and quiet that existed pre-2011,” said Chirkun. “Unfortunately, I don’t think under this current Legislature that we will ever see a repeal of the fireworks law. What I am offering is a modification of that law that I hope we can all agree on so that people who enjoy fireworks still can, and people who want more peace and quiet will have it.”
Chirkun’s legislation would expand the days that locals can prohibit the use of consumer-grade fireworks so that the only days that locals have to allow the use of fireworks are the day before, the day of, and the day after New Year’s Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day. Current law states that locals cannot prohibit fireworks on the day before, the day of, or the day after any national holiday — for a total of 30 days. Chirkun’s bill would only allow fireworks on a total of nine days. His bill would also increase the fines for breaking a local ordinance to no more than $1,000 and allow local units of government to enforce local noise ordinances. This legislation would also allow locals to regulate the use of fireworks on the specified days between the hours of 11 p.m. and 10 a.m., except for New Year’s Day when fireworks can only be regulated between the hours of 1 a.m. and 8 a.m.
“I believe that my bill asks for common-sense changes to our fireworks law that everyone can agree to and live with,” said Chirkun. “We need a better balance between what fireworks enthusiasts now have and what the general public who would prefer quieter celebrations want. I think my bill strikes that balance, and I hope to win the support of my colleagues on both sides of the issue and aisle.”
Chirkun explained that while tent fireworks sales are not a problem in more rural communities, these tent sales are an issue in more concentrated communities such as Roseville and Warren.
“Tent sales of fireworks create a circus-like atmosphere and are an eyesore in metropolitan areas,” said Chirkun. “My bill allows for communities in heavily populated areas, like Macomb County, to regulate or prohibit the sale of fireworks from tents.”