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Letter: Mass. should legalize fireworks


Thursday, July 12, 2018

I write again to suggest that the time has come for Massachusetts to join the rest of the country and legalize the use of consumer fireworks for its citizens. Massachusetts used to be one of four states that prohibited all categories of consumer fireworks.

Since Delaware, New Jersey and New York changed their laws to allow ground-based consumer fireworks, Massachusetts stands alone as the only state in the union to prohibit all forms of consumer fireworks.

Massachusetts is the home of the Boston Tea Party, the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, and so many Revolutionary War patriots — John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Robert Treat Paine, just to name a handful. Eleven United States presidents were either born in Massachusetts or spent time there studying or working.

As the home of so much that has to do with American Independence, it is astonishing that Massachusetts citizens cannot celebrate Independence Day with consumer fireworks.

Since 1994 imports of the home of so much fireworks rose 117.4 percent from 117 million pounds to 254.4 million pounds. During the same period, injuries per 100,000 pounds of fireworks used dropped from 10.7 to 5, a decrease of 53.25 percent — use more than doubled and injuries cut in half.

The reduction in injuries associated with fireworks is even more impressive when you consider that the Consumer Product Safety Commission statistics include injuries associated with professional display fireworks, homemade explosives, illegal explosives and altered fireworks — none of which are consumer fireworks and none of which are under the aegis of the CPSC. CPSC shouldn’t even be reporting injuries related to these items.

I remind you that the second U.S. President John Adams, in a now famous July 3, 1776, letter to his wife Abigail, expressed that Independence Day “ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward forevermore.”

The time has come for Massachusetts to join 49 other states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in legalizing the sale and use of some level of consumer fireworks.

William A. Weimer

Phantom Fireworks vice president

Youngstown, Ohio


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