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Backyard Fireworks Still Illegal In Ohio, Despite Efforts From Lawmakers

Fireworks packages in store
Mike Mozart
Flickr Creative Commons

Sales of backyard fireworks are booming in Ohio, at least partly because the pandemic has canceled public fireworks shows. But it’s still technically illegal to set them off in the state, despite efforts by state legislators to change that.

Ohio law requires people who purchase fireworks here to sign a form promising to transport them out of the state within 48 hours. Yet every summer, in nearly every corner of the state, you can hear fireworks popping and booming from nearby homes.

Some state lawmakers have tried for five years to change the law. A billrecently passed in the House, 78 to 17.

“I feel as though we have finally reached the promised land," said state Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) to say,

But the bill has stalled in the Senate, which has yet to hold hearings. A similar thing happened in 2018, the last time the House passed a fireworks bill.

So as the July 4 weekend approaches, backyard fireworks remain against the law. And if the Senate doesn’t pass the bill by the end of this year, the effort will once again go up in smoke.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.