Iowa Close to Making Fireworks Legal
As someone who has to get to bed early to get up early, and is a fairly light sleeper, I am not a fan of fireworks.
Don't get me wrong, there are certain celebrations that just scream out for fireworks. The problem is, it's no longer just the 4th of July that Quad Citians shoot off neighborhood fireworks, it is every night for weeks before and after.
This past November, folks in Rock Island were setting off fireworks when the Cubs won the NLCS and the World Series... at 11pm at night.
Aside from light sleepers, the noise causes issues for dogs, and veterans with PTSD. Often closing windows and running equipment to drown out the noise isn't effective.
Legislation being considered by the state of Iowa is not likely to make things any calmer. The Quad City Times reports that SF 236 would allow licensed retailers or community groups to sell consumer fireworks in permanent structures between June 1 and July 8 and between Dec. 10 and Jan. 3.
The Legislative Services Agency estimates tax revenue could top $890,000 this fiscal year alone. To fully fund the $140,796 in costs for the State Fire Marshal Division to hire and equip two inspectors would require the sale and collection of nearly 800 retail licenses or wholesaler registration fees that range from $400 to $1,000 each, depending on the type fireworks operation.
And there's the rub - rules and regulations are only valid if you have the staff to police them. Until we get serious about ensuring folks can enjoy fireworks without disturbing their neighbors, a lot of us will be yawning our way through the day.