Northwest Iowa — A few weeks ago we told you that the debate over the private possession of fireworks in Iowa had been reignited in the Iowa Senate. Now, like a dud firecracker, that legislation 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.
Dotzler had hoped to debate a bill to legalize fireworks in a senate committee Wednesday, but he says the proposal lost votes over the weekend. There’s more resistance in cities, according to Dotzler.
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 year are bystanders 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.
Private possession of fireworks has been banned in Iowa since 1938, a direct result of the infamous Spencer Fire of 1931 which was ignited by a careless youngster at a store’s fireworks display, and destroyed most of Spencer’s downtown business district.