Statement from Rep. Jim Townsend on restoring local control over firework sales

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

“Today, I offered an amendment to a bill concerning the new fireworks law that would have strengthened the ability of local governments to determine where fireworks are sold. Under current law, cities, counties and townships may not enforce ordinances that would prohibit the sale or transportation of commercial fireworks. This is an overreach by the state in taking away the locals’ ability to regulate the temporary sales of fireworks from semi-truck containers or tents or permanent structures. My amendment would allow local governments to enforce existing zoning ordinances even if it inhibits the sale of commercial fireworks.

“I was a cosponsor of the original law. However, when it was introduced last year, the bill allowed locals to regulate the placement of tents to sell fireworks. Unfortunately, that language was removed from the bill before it was signed into law.

“The Republican-led House did not allow a vote on my amendment today. I am disappointed, but I will continue to work to give our local governments the necessary control over the use of their property.”