The fuse has been lit and the fireworks debate has folks all fired up.
When it comes to fireworks, the age-old question of safety versus enjoyment will hit a 2016 ballot referendum, which would legalize and regulate the sale of fireworks in the Commonwealth.
Let’s face it: Many of us have driven up to New Hampshire, hit the State Liquor Store, driven up a few more exits and scored an outrageous amount of fireworks at some point in our lives. Plead the Fifth all you want, you or someone you know has enjoyed the thrill of feeling like a smuggler.
The State House News Service reported that Rich Bastien, a former state representative from Gardener and current teacher, lit the fuse on an effort to legalize sparklers, bottle rockets and small firecrackers, while the wicked high powered ones would be carried in specialty stores.
“Whether you like fireworks or you don’t like fireworks, now that we’re completely surrounded by states that sell them, the ban doesn’t work,” Bastien told State House News.
The ballot initiative flies in the face of the 2006 Model Fireworks Law, which flat out bans the sale of fireworks, making Massachusetts one of four nanny states that says “no fun for you.”
The question needs 64,750 signatures to get on the ballot.
Who doesn’t like fireworks? A few voices, actually.
Cambridge Deputy Fire Chief Gerard Mahoney said that emergency responders see damage and injury every summer from improper use of fireworks and called upon the public to leave the displays to the professional pyro-technicians back on July 1.
In Massachusetts, there is no way to charge a person who improperly disposes of fireworks. Middlesex District Attorney Miriam Ryan said that her office teamed up with State Representative Jay Livingstone to create laws to charge people who cause property damage or injury specifically with fireworks.
What do you, the residents of Mass., think about this is issue?
Is this ballot initiative wise? Are our current laws too overbearing or do they keep us safe from reckless and/or annoying pops and bursts in the night?