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Michigan House Panel to assess state's fireworks law

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A state House panel will look at how Michigan’s new fireworks law is working, and could recommend changes.

There have been complaints about loud explosions late into the night since the law was passed earlier this year.

State Representative Harold Haugh wrote the law, which allows retailers who buy a license to sell more-powerful fireworks. It also preempts any local fireworks bans on the day before, the day of, and the day after 10 national holidays.

Haugh says the law is a success, and it does not stop local governments from enforcing noise ordinances.

"There was no more incidents of fires being reported than a year prior, there were no more injuries, so we need to take a look at educating, enforcement, and if we can get funding to the municipalities, I’d like to try that, as well," he said.

Haugh says some of the complaints he’s heard about the law exaggerate its effects. 

“The child injuries went up 300 percent – that was from two to six! And of the six that were injured, three of them were utilizing sparklers," he said. "Now, those were legal last year.”

But Haugh also says he’s open to modifying the law.

At least one state lawmaker has called for allowing local governments to ban selling or shooting high-powered fireworks.

The special state House workgroup will hear from the Michigan Fire Marshal on how the law has worked.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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