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Bill would give local governments more control over fireworks

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Entertainment, Government, Politics
Under current law, there are 12 days during the year when local governments aren’t allowed to restrict fireworks at all during the evening – New Year’s Eve and 11 days around July 4. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Hoosiers are being “inundated with explosions and booms” from fireworks. That’s what state Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) said.

And legislation from Schaibley would allow local governments to more tightly restrict when fireworks can be legally set off.

Right now, there are 12 days during the year when local governments aren’t allowed to restrict fireworks at all during the evening – New Year’s Eve and 11 days around July 4.

Schaibley’s bill, HB 1053, would shrink that down to just four days – New Year’s Eve and July 3, 4 and 5.

Carmel police officer John Foster said local governments need that greater control because people are getting “frustrated.”

“One person said, ‘If you don’t take care of this’ – to our dispatcher – ‘if you don’t take care of this, I will,'” Foster said. “So, people become very passionate about that.”

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Fireworks sellers like Shelli Maxwell are, of course, opposed to the measure.

“If you pass this bill, it would take away our right and freedom to celebrate anything,” Maxwell said.

Veterans groups support the bill, arguing it will help those who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.