State law says cities and counties cannot ban the sale of fireworks, but municipalities can forbid their use. Clinton Mayor Scott Maddasion has a reminder for residents of that eastern Iowa community. “I’ve already gotten a few emails about this, people are amping up for it,” Mayor Maddasion says. “The state of Iowa allows fireworks to be sold in the state of Iowa, but the discharge of fireworks in the city limits of Clinton is still illegal.”
Many Iowa communities have banned the use of fireworks by the general public, while still allowing professional displays. Since fireworks were legalized in Iowa, critics have bemoaned how contradictory the law appears — mandating that fireworks be legal to sell but then allowing cities to ban them from being used.
“It is extremely difficult and the state legislature’s put us in that position and that’s their choice,” he says. “We’ve got some people in town that sell the fireworks and I’m sure they make good money off it and that’s good for them. I don’t want to hinder anybody’s business in that sense.”
Police in a number of Iowa cities have had a difficult time in past summers ticketing and stopping those who ignore the local ordinances and set off fireworks. Maddasion explains why it’s difficult to enforce. “It’s just like anything else, innocent until proven guilty and you have to be caught in the act to be prosecuted,” Maddasion says. “Please call the PD if someone is doing that. They’re going to do their best to not only monitor the fireworks stuff but monitor all the other things that they’re doing on a daily basis.”
The mayor is urging all Iowans to be good neighbors, especially during the upcoming 4th of July weekend. “Please, please, please, let’s limit or eliminate completely the number of fireworks that are going off,” he says. “There’s a lot of things that come into play. We’ve got veterans with PTSD and the explosions can cause issues there. We have a lot of other folks that just don’t like it, which is fine, too, so I can’t say it enough, please, don’t discharge fireworks.”
Fireworks are legal to sell in Iowa from permanent structures between June 1st and July 8th and from tents and other temporary structures from June 13th through July 8th. It’s also legal to sell them in the state during a short period around New Year’s Eve.
(By Dave Vickers, KROS, Clinton)