DeWine signs bill allowing Ohioans to set off fireworks

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 12, 2021

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohioans can now legally set off fireworks on certain holidays, under legislation signed Monday by Gov. Mike DeWine that closes a long-exploited loophole in state law.

The legislation allows Ohio residents to set off fireworks on certain holidays, including New Year’s Eve and Day, Chinese New Year, Cinco de Mayo, Juneteenth, days on and around July 4, Labor Day and the Hindu festival of Diwali.

Under previous law, individuals could purchase consumer-grade fireworks in Ohio but had to transport them out of state within 48 hours.

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As residents of many neighborhoods in the state could attest, that requirement was almost universally ignored in practice.

DeWine vetoed a similar measure in July citing a need for better safety measures.

“Amended Substitute House Bill 172 is a better bill than Senate Bill 113, which was the original fireworks bill that I vetoed,” DeWine said. “Because it was clear to me that the legislature would have overridden my veto, making Senate Bill 113 the law, I worked with the General Assembly to arrive at a compromise that included changes I wanted to see in the legislation.”

Since, then, lawmakers moved the date for first use to July 1, 2022, set the maximum size of fireworks showrooms at 7,500 square feet, and required showrooms expanded to that size to employ sprinkler systems meeting specific state standards.

The new law also prohibits setting off fireworks while under the influence or on someone else’s property without permission. In addition, the law allows local communities to restrict or ban the use of fireworks.