More than half of Iowa's adults favor legalizing fireworks, according to a poll by the Des Moines Register. Despite the majority, lawmakers failed to pass legislation that would legalize anything beyond sparklers during this year’s session.
Senator Jeff Danielson notes that drafted legislation stipulates some of the strongest local control of any bill he’s seen regarding fireworks.
“We allow possession, but the law says you can’t fire them off. I believe that it's time to change Iowa’s law in a limited, responsible way that allows both possession and use,” says Danielson.
During this River to River conversation, host Ben Kieffer talks with Danielson and Mark Sachen, legislative chair for the Iowa Emergency Medical Services Association.
Sachen says that the reason fireworks aren’t legal to use in Iowa is due to safety concerns.
“If you look at the numbers from the 2013 fireworks report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and if you compare those to the numbers you see in Iowa (with limited and restricted use), Iowa sees roughly 400 cases of fireworks injuries a year. Compared to Missouri – the number is five times that."