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Ohio’s fireworks laws are working

Why is it that some laws intended to protect the public result in accusations that legislators who refuse to repeal them are being spoilsports? Ohio’s ban on many types of “consumer fireworks” is an example.

While many states, including West Virginia, have rescinded such prohibitions, Ohio has kept them on the books. That has helped the state enjoy a relatively low rate of serious injuries resulting from use of pyrotechnic devices.

Now, however, members of the General Assembly are being urged to lift the ban. A bill being considered by the state Senate, SB 72, would do just that.

If enacted, the measure would allow use of sky rockets, big “cherry- bomb” grade firecrackers and other dangerous fireworks at any time, any day of the week. An analysis by The Columbus Dispatch concluded that if the bill becomes law, Ohio would have one of the least restrictive pyrotechnic device laws in the nation.

For what? So everyone can stage a rockets’-red-glare show on Independence Day?

So dads can try to outdo each other with noise makers on New Year’s Eve?

So children can have fingers blown off when they grab cherry bombs everyone thought were duds? So powerful rockets can be fired over densely populated cities where roof fires may be the result?

Alarmism? Accidents are rare, you say?

Perhaps so. But is it worth even one tragedy for legislators to abandon a law that has protected Ohioans for many years, just to satisfy a few people not content with organized fireworks shows?

No, it is not.

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