Putting a Bigger Boom in your Summer

Jun 7, 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, do not start your engines. There’s no need to drive out of state to buy fireworks to light up the summer sky. Starting Wednesday, you’ll be able to buy them legally in Kentucky. Roman candles, firecrackers and bottle rockets can be sold and used here, legalized by a bill passed during the last legislative session. Personal use of the larger versions of these fireworks, such as those used at public fireworks shows, will still not be allowed.

Law enforcement officers support the new law, chiefly because it eases pressure to enforce the old one, which made use of certain fireworks by the general public illegal.

Police say this new law could cut down on the number of calls they receive about illegal firework use.

“Those times that are the peak for the fireworks we do get a considerable number of calls on them,” Frankfort Police Major Fred Deaton said Monday.

“At some point it should actually cause a drop in calls for service.”

Deaton said it’s difficult to enforce firework laws because the offense has to be made in their presence. He said usually by the time an officer gets to a call, the perpetrator has stopped.

The legislation does not backtrack on previous reservations Kentucky lawmakers held about fireworks. It includes old and additional regulations about their proper selling, storage and use.

Some of the regulations in the new state lawn include:

> New permitting requirements for the sale of fireworks, registering sellers as one of three types of retailers.

> Requirements for retailers to report where sales will take place, where fireworks will be stored and a description of how the fireworks will be stored.

> People must be at least 18 years old to sell or purchase fireworks.

>Fireworks cannot be used within 200 feet of a structure, vehicle or other person.

> Fireworks cannot be sold to anyone who is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.