LANSING — Local officials would have more power to limit fireworks under a bill introduced Friday by state Reps. John Chirkun, D-Roseville, and Patrick Green, D-Warren.
The proposal is in response to a 2011 change in Michigan law that allows allows residents to buy bigger fireworks and use them with almost no local regulations.
“Since then, many Michiganders, including many veterans who struggle with PTSD and are particularly bothered by fireworks, have complained about the noise, danger and lack of enforcement of the restrictions that do exist in the law,” said a press release from Chirkun’s office.
“I regularly get complaints on holiday weekends about the fireworks people are shooting off in their neighborhoods, and if we can’t repeal the law, then it’s time that we do something to make it work better for all our citizens,” Chirkun said in the release.
“People who enjoy a fireworks show should be able to see one, but we can’t have fireworks going off into the wee hours of the morning because that isn’t fair to the people who want peace and quiet and a good night’s sleep,” he said.
The proposed legislation would expand the days that locals can prohibit the use of consumer-grade fireworks.
Currently, local governments cannot prohibit fireworks on the day before, the day of, or the day after any national holiday, a total of 30 days. Chirken and Green’s bill would limit those holidays to New Year’s Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day, for a total of nine days.
The bill also would increase the fines for breaking a local ordinance to no more than $1,000 and allow for enforcement of local noise ordinances.
In addition, the proposal would allow local officials to regulate the use of fireworks on the specified days between the hours of 11 p.m. and 10 a.m., except for New Year’s Day, when fireworks can only be regulated between the hours of 1 a.m. and 8 a.m.
Chirkun said that he also wants to address the tent sales of fireworks, an issue in urban communities where some residents see them as an eyesore.