One of the biggest boosters of the state’s new fireworks law says lawmakers may move to address some of the legal wrangling over where fireworks may be sold.
Senator Jake Chapman, a Republican from Adel, is concerned about some city ordinances restricting fireworks sales.
“The issue of cities using some zoning to put these in heavy industrial, that was never the intention of the bill,” Chapman says. “In fact, within the guidelines incorporated into the bill…it says that they shall be limited to mercantile occupancy, which we intended to be commercial zoning, so we’re going to have to look at that.”
For nearly eight decades, Iowa law had forbidden the sale and ignition of fireworks in Iowa. Chapman was the senate manager of the bill that legalized fireworks displays this summer. Chapman says he’s getting lots of “thanks” from folks who’ve waited for years to see private fireworks displays made legal.
“The bill did what we had anticipated,” Chapman says, “and I think if folks were out last night and the last couple of nights, they could hear that Iowans were celebrating in full force with the celebration of the Fourth with fireworks.”
Chapman says local control is allowed “on the use” of fireworks.
“There’s folks who absolutely don’t want it at all,” Chapman says. “But then you have others that say: ‘Hey, how can we enforce the law with people who are shooting them off after hours?’ And of course, with any law, you’re going to have people and that will be up to local jurisdictions to enforce it.”
The penalty is $250 for people caught shooting off fireworks after hours or in cities that have local ordinances banning fireworks displays. Fireworks may be sold in Iowa through this Saturday, July 8 and fireworks ignition may legally continue through Saturday in many jurisdictions.
Chapman followed a personal, long-standing tradition and got a permit to host a fireworks display in rural Dallas County last night that lasted about 20 minutes.