March 12, 2013

Maine bills seek to ban or restrict use of fireworks

By Michael Shepherd mshepherd@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

AUGUSTA — Less than two years after Maine legalized the purchase and use of consumer fireworks, the Legislature is considering a repeal bill and four other proposals that would restrict explosives’ use.

click image to enlarge

FIRED UP: Osman Castro, 18, left, Connor Shaw, 17, center, and Sam Picard, all from Presque Isle, browse the vast selection of fireworks at Pyro City Maine on China Road in Winslow Friday.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

The most radical proposal, an outright repeal of the law allowing fireworks, was proposed by Rep. Michel Lajoie, D-Lewiston – a retired city fire chief – and will be heard Monday by the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

Other proposals set to be heard Monday include bills that would require open-burning permits to shoot off fireworks and banning use within one mile of fields with livestock and between the hours of 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Another concept bill looks to identify “reasonable restrictions” that could be made under law.

The fireworks law took effect in January 2012 and allowed fireworks use between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. by those 21 years of age or older on private property. However, municipalities can restrict or ban fireworks.

This story will be updated.

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