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State House OKs Changes To Michigan Fireworks Law

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ROSEVILLE (WWJ) - The Michigan House has given the thumbs up to a bill that would allow local governments to put some limits on fireworks.

One change would let communities with fewer than 50,000 people or counties with fewer than 750,000 people ban powerful fireworks between 1 and 8 a.m. around national holidays.

That’s welcome news to Police Chief James Berlin in Roseville, where he says they field hundreds of fireworks complaint calls each summer.

“They light ‘em off, you know, morning, noon and night — doesn’t matter what day it is,” Berlin told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeil. “You know, people gotta get up and go to work … and the neighbor down the street’s blowing fireworks off at one o’clock in the morning.

“… It’s being inconsiderate towards, you know, their neighbors around them. Maybe they don’t have to get up or maybe they enjoy the noise, but not everyone does,” he said.

Berlin said this year’s complaint calls started in back April.

“People were starting to light them off. And as the warm weather comes and people open their windows, we’ll get even more calls because of the noise complaints,” Berlin said, adding that the calls are not just from people who can’t sleep.

“We get a lot of complaints about the pets being terrified bye the noise and that,” Berlin said. “Myself, I have a cat and when they go off he hides under the bed and will not come out. So, I empathize with them — I understand their feelings on it.”

Berlin said many residents don’t comply with the rules that fireworks are limited to three days surrounding any holiday.

The bill was approved by a 107 to 1 vote Tuesday. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Once-banned bottle rockets, aerial cakes, Roman candles and firecrackers all are sold legally in Michigan under a law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in late 2011.

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