Ohio State Rep. Bill Seitz Sees Strong Bi-Partisan Support For Firerworks Bill This Fall

Jul 9, 2017

The bill that would relax fireworks laws while generating funds for safety organizations has been applauded by American Fireworks, the only manufacturer in Northeast Ohio.
Credit AMERICAN FIREWORKS

An Ohio House bill with bi-partisan support could make igniting some fireworks at home legal by the year 2020, and lift the moratorium on licenses for manufacturers.

Since the summer of 2001, Ohio has had a moratorium on new licenses to make or wholesale fireworks. Cincinnati-area Republican Rep. Bill Seitz wants the moratorium lifted, saying it’s insulated the existing fireworks companies in the state.

He’s proposing a bill that would create a study committee to make recommendations by July 1, 2019 on whether to lift the moratorium and whether to legalize setting-off consumer fireworks.

“That commission will consist of folks from Prevent Blindness Ohio, folks from the medical community, folks from the fire-officials community, folks from the fireworks community [and] legislators.

“I believe the moratorium has operated to insulate the existing competitors from competition. At the same time, I understand that we need well-regulated competition. And therefore, I want to address this as part of a holistic review of our fireworks laws.”

Seitz says his bill also has a provision that, if nothing is done based on the committee’s report, another bill passed in 2014 would take effect. That legislation was passed by the state Senate and funneled fireworks taxes to a safety fund. It also had provisions for local control of when and how fireworks can be discharged and is similar to a Michigan law passed in 2011. Seitz is co-sponsoring the bill with State Rep. Martin Sweeney, a Democrat from Cleveland.