A renewed bid to let Iowans legally launch fireworks has fizzled. Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, says Iowans are setting fireworks off now even though it is illegal and he predicts legislators will wrestle with the issue again next year.
“Iowans really want to celebrate our independence and fireworks has always been a way to do it,” Dotzler says. “I mean when you listen to the ‘Star Spangled Banner’, you know, it’s ‘rockets red glare’ right?”
Dotzler had hoped to debate a bill to legalize fireworks in a senate committee today, but Dotzler says the proposal lost votes over the weekend. There’s more resistance in cities, according to Dotzler.
“In rural areas, it probably has less impact on your neighbors,” Dotzler says, “so people that have pets and dogs and, you know, the kind of things that might get ’em upset — in a rural area the impact isn’t as bad.”
Veterans also complain fireworks are a trial for some soldiers who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Other groups that oppose the bill say about half of those who get injured by fireworks each are a bystander rather than the person who lit the firework.
The only fireworks which are legal for anyone to sell and ignite in Iowa today are sparklers and snakes. Fireworks shows may be held in Iowa, if organizers obtain a special permit.