VIDEO: Fireworks bill heading to Governor Terry Branstad
DES MOINES, Iowa —
It's likely Iowans will get to legally light up the skies this Fourth of July, now that a bill legalizing the sale and use of fireworks is heading to the Governor's desk.
"This is about Iowans being able to make the choice for themselves and giving them the freedom that so many people across the country already have," State Rep. Matt Windschitl, R - Missouri Valley, said.
The bill would let Iowans sell and light consumer fireworks like bottle rockets and firecrackers in the state during two holiday periods. Local cities and counties could ban the use, but they can't ban any firework sales.
However, several lawmakers spoke in opposition of the bill, citing the potential increase of fireworks injuries.
State Rep. Tim Kacena, a Democrat from Sioux City and a retired firefighter, says he's seen the dangers from people in his city getting fireworks illegally from neighboring states.
"I can't tell you how many eye injuries I've had," he said. "I can't tell you how many hand injuries I've had over my 33 years. This is going to happen. This isn't speculation. This is going to happen. I've seen it."
Rep. Windschitl says he knows there are safety concerns, but he says he goal is to give Iowans the freedom to legally decide on if they want to use fireworks.
"You can't bubble wrap Iowans," Windschitl said. "They're going to make decisions for themselves regardless of what the law says in our books."