A bill to legalize fireworks intended for consumers on certain days in Ohio is in the process of being passed.
But this will only take effect for a while, even if everything goes according to plan.
“I’m thrilled,” said Bruce Zoldan, president and CEO of Phantom Fireworks, a Youngstown company and the nation’s largest consumer fireworks retailer. “It’s been a long time coming. It’s something I’ve worked on for a decade. Bills have been passed half a dozen times in the House or the Senate, but never the same bill.
The Ohio House approved the legalization bill Thursday 66-27. The state Senate approved it on June 26-7 on June 2.
The bill comes into force 260 days after Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, promulgates it, but there is no guarantee it will.
“I will speak to the governor and let him know that this bill will make fireworks safer in Ohio,” Zoldan said. “The state will be able to make public service announcements on fireworks safety. They couldn’t do it because it wasn’t legal, but people were still using them.
In addition to having to wait 260 days until DeWine signs it – and if he vetoed it, there are enough votes to overturn it if the legislature so chooses – the bill restricts when fireworks can be used legally.
The bill allows fireworks on New Years Eve and New Years; Chinese New Year; Cinco de Mayo; Memorial Day weekend; the tenth of June; July 3, 4 and 5 and the preceding and following weekends; Labor Day weekend; and Diwali, a five-day Indian festival.