‘We’re quite disappointed’: Phantom Fireworks reacts to Gov. DeWine vetoing fireworks legalization bill

Local News

(WKBN) – Just days after the Fourth of July, Governor DeWine made his decision about whether or not Ohioans can own and shoot off commercial fireworks in the state.

The answer was no. On Friday, he vetoed the bill that would have allowed it, which passed in the house and the senate.

First News found out why he made that decision and what local fireworks companies think about the choice.

“Immediately, we’re quite disappointed. This is something that we’ve worked on for years now,” said Dan Peart, Director of Government Affairs at Phantom Fireworks.

Phantom Fireworks is not happy about Friday’s veto from the governor.

Senate Bill 113 would have allowed customers to buy and use commercial fireworks legally in Ohio instead of having to take them out of the state within 48 hours of purchase to use them.

DeWine said his reason for the veto was that it would make Ohio one of the least restrictive states regarding fireworks.

“It doubles the size of a fireworks location from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet, yet does not have the safety precautions that two separate studies that have been done indicate should in fact be done,” DeWine said.

One big argument is that people do still set the fireworks off, even though they’re illegal.

“What did your neighborhood sound like last weekend? Does it sound like fireworks are illegal? If the answer is no, then it’s time to do what 48 other states in the country have already done,” Peart said.

Not only would the bill have allowed fireworks to be used, but Peart says it would have made safety messages a lot easier to get to consumers.

“To prohibit us from delivering those types of safety messages to the customer and how to properly use fireworks, which we can’t do right now because fireworks are illegal, doesn’t make sense,” Peart said.

This doesn’t mean DeWine won’t ever allow fireworks in the state, but he says the bill needs some changes before then.

“There’s a bill to be had out there that I can sign, but this unfortunately is not the bill,” DeWine said.

The legislature could do a veto override. Peart says he’s not sure if that will happen.

If not, we’ll have to wait and see if new legislature gets introduced.

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