Reporting Marie Osborne
STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ) - It’ll be a bigger blast this Fourth of July holiday.
Thanks to a new law that took effect this year, many types of consumer-grade fireworks are now legal in Michigan.
Fred Andrews, Manager of Big Fireworks on Van Dyke in Sterling Heights, said they’ve already stocked warehouse shelves 8-feet high with the new products.
“Our biggest and best product is called the Pro Shell, and it’s an artillery shell with 24 different shows at the top. And it’s probably the best artillery shell made at the country,” said Andrews.
Andrews said that item runs $69.99 and the show lasts as long as it takes you to light the 24 shells.
They’ve also stocked plenty of Roman candles, firecrackers and bottle rockets.
Andrews said he does offer safety instructions to customers, but insists that these devises are safer than ever.
“It’s controlled. Everything is tested — all the fuses are tested. So, it’s become more and more safe,” he said. “In fact, it’s probably safer than riding a bicycle. There’s more injuries riding a bicycle than there would be, you know, lighting off consumer fireworks.”
Prices range up to $100 for a single item.
Michigan’s former list of legal fireworks for residents without special permits is generally limited to ground-based or novelty items such as sparklers, smoke devices, toy snakes and noisemakers.
House Bill 4293 and Senate Bill 194 legalizing the more powerful fireworks overwhelmingly passed the state Legislature back in December.
Supporters of the new law note some Michigan residents made it a tradition to travel to Indiana, Ohio or Wisconsin to buy the fireworks that aren’t legal at home. Legislators figure that since the fireworks wind up in Michigan anyway, they might as well be legalized so the state can get a piece of the action through jobs, taxes and fees.
These additional fireworks sales are expected to raise between $12 million and $15 million in state revenue.