Proposed law could allow consumer fireworks in Ohio


DAYTON (WKEF/WRGT) -- As fireworks professionals get ready for a spectacular show, others across the Miami Valley are doing the same.

Jaxon Williams is hoping to put a sparkle in his son's eye, but he's limited.

"Anything bigger than a bottle rocket, or a little firecracker, I would love to do that at my house for him," he said.

People can only legally light up the four S's: snaps, snakes, sparklers and smoke bombs. Getting caught with consumer grade products can land you with a $1000 fine, and up to six months in jail.

But it's no secret the laws aren't stopping anyone.

"Everyone knows that people go down to our store in Loveland and purchase consumer fireworks, and let them off in the backyard," said Chad Zechar, a pyrotechnician with Rozzi's Famous Fireworks.

Montgomery County Regional Dispatch told Fox 45 there have been around 70 fireworks calls, so far this weekend. Those people could find themselves on the legal side of the law, if a proposal is passed to allow consumer grade products on personal property.

But there's always safety concerns. The Consumer Product Safety Commission released its annual video, which demonstrates real-life situations, where fireworks resulted in people losing limbs or being severely burned. According to the agency, there were more than 11,000 fireworks-related injuries nationwide, and four deaths in 2016.

Williams said he takes precautions.

"I make sure no one is standing very close to it," he said.

The bill also tacks on a four percent fee, collected for state training and enforcement. Some are still worried that the shift will push people to eventually want what the professionals use. Zechar doubts the government will ever let that happen.

"One small three-inch shell can go through a three-quarter inch piece of plywood, and leave a perfect three-inch circle hole in it," Zechar said. "So the stuff is a very, very dangerous."

If the proposal is passed, it would go into effect in 2020.

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