Metro Council Lifts Ban On Heavy Fireworks, Again

by Devin Katayama on December 9, 2011

The Louisville Metro Council has approved the sale and use of large fireworks, overturning an ordinance passed two weeks ago.

Fireworks that were legal before 2011 can continue to be sold from tents; any larger explosives, like roman candles or cherry bombs, will needs to be sold from a permanent structure. Despite passing the ban by a single vote last month the council voted 14-8 with three absences and one present vote by chair of the public safety committee, James Peden.

“Now I know I’m not going to change any of your minds because they were made up a long time ago on this,” said councilwoman Madonna Flood, who sponsored the ordinance banning heavy fireworks.

“But I just wanted to point out that the gentlemen who are sitting out here in the blue uniforms who are sworn to protest us, once again, these are the folks who’ve come to us and asked us not to allow these bigger fireworks,” she said.

This is a divisive issue, said councilman Tom Owen who voted to lift the ban. While the ordinance allows sales of heavier fireworks, it also gives consumers the option to be educated about the dangers of explosives, he said. The ordinance includes protections, like limiting the time consumers can use fire works, said Owen.

“All of these things are included in this ordinance. We know have the ability, a bible that can be enforced if law enforcement and fire prevention chooses to act and we believe they will,” Owen said.

The ordinance allows sales year-round but consumers will only be allowed to use fireworks around Independence Day and New Years Eve. The council also passed an amendment on Thursday requiring a five year suspension for anyone caught selling fireworks without the necessary permit.

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