Firework Freedom in Minnesota

Commentary & Community

Firework Freedom in Minnesota

 

If you want to set off a Roman candle to celebrate American independence, you can’t buy one in Minnesota. Some legislators want to allow the sale of these and other fireworks in the state, but Governor Dayton is skeptical.

 

Current law in Minnesota only allows a very limited selections of fireworks to be sold in the state, such as sparklers and ground poppers. If Minnesotans want to buy more potent fireworks, they must travel out-of-state. Neighboring states have more lenient laws, which is evidenced by the fireworks stands that dot the border communities.

 

Legislators passed a bill to legalize a wider assortment of fireworks in 2012, but Governor Dayton vetoed it. The governor also expressed opposition to a similar measure in 2016. He is likely to veto such a bill this year if legislators once again pass it.

 

Supporters of allowing more types of fireworks to be sold in Minnesota say that the state’s residents are already purchasing them, but out-of-state businesses are profiting. Legalizing their sale in Minnesota would help the state's businesses and increase sales tax revenue.

 

Opponents, such as the state fire marshal, contend that the wider availability of fireworks is a safety hazard. They say that injuries and fires due to fireworks will increase, necessitating more police and fire services. Some city officials echo these complaints, adding that more potent fireworks will fuel complaints between neighbors.

 

Do you think that the government should limit fireworks sales? Or should Minnesotans be free to purchase Roman candles, bottle rockets, and other fireworks?

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