LANSING (WWJ) – Tired of all those fireworks shooting off in your neighborhood? Turns out — you’re not alone.
One state senator is so fed up with Michigan’s fireworks law, he’s working on a bill to keep the high-powered explosives out of citizens’ hands.
Democratic Senator Glenn Anderson, from Westland, said his aim is to restore Michigan’s fireworks law back to its pre-2011 regulations, reinstating the ban on aerial and explosive fireworks, which account for the vast majority of noise complaints and serious injuries.
“It’s just a bad decision I believe that our legislature made. I voted as one member of the State Senate that voted against it. I believe it’s time we revisit the issue and return the law to what it was,” Anderson told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill.
Current state law allows for the use of aerial and explosive fireworks the day before, day of, and day after a national holiday. Communities are granted the authority to regulate the timeframe that fireworks are allowed on those days, but many have had little success in doing so.
Anderson said he gets more complaints from constituents about fireworks than anything else, even the roads.
“The noise, the incessant noise, it’s terrifying their pets and people are just clearly not observing the law,” he said. “There’s many of them that I’ve heard that are having to get tranquilizers for their pets.”
The law was passed in 2011 as a way to generate new revenue for the state. But Anderson said his preliminary figures show the sale of fireworks brings in just under $1 million year.
“Is it really worth it to endanger people’s safety, cause them not to have enjoyment of their homes, to not be able to sleep at night,” he said. “To me, to think that we’re going to sell off the public’s safety for $1 million, or I don’t even care if it was $10 million, it’s not really worth it.”
Tales of untrained revelers being maimed by fireworks are not hard to come by.
This year, the explosion from a firework killed a Detroit-area father of four young girls and last year claimed the life of a 35-year-old Clinton Township man. The days surrounding July 4th brought mayhem to a St. Clair Shores family who lost their garage, two cars, and almost their home as well to a fire caused by the smoldering remains of a firework raining down on their roof. Neighboring homes suffered severe damage as well.
A lawsuit is currently pending after an incident in Inkster last year that resulted in a young man losing his right hand. The victim’s attorney claims that his client was using the product in accordance with the instructions. However, the firework was packed with an amount of explosives “far in excess” of the federal limit of 50mg for consumer-grade, ground-based pyrotechnics and 130mg for aerial fireworks.
Statistics released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission last year show that only 67 percent of the fireworks tested met the aforementioned regulations. The vast majority of these fireworks are manufactured in China and imported to the U.S.
Anderson is encouraging citizens who don’t like the state’s current fireworks law to urge their state senators to vote in favor of his bill, which could be introduced as early as this week.