Aerial Fireworks Are Illegal in Idaho, So Why Are They For Sale?
We welcome you again to the fireworks season where dogs, people, and otherwise law-abiding citizens lose their minds as ordinary Idahoans become law breakers. Every year we see the hardworking entrepreneurs that man the numerous fireworks stands throughout every parking lot, roadside stand, or back of a truck along a deserted road selling us any fireworks that we like.
I know what you're thinking; why would vendors be allowed to sell fireworks if they weren't legal? Despite the efforts of fire departments, the legislature has refused to close the 'fireworks loophole.' If they did close the loophole, thousands of dollars would be lost due to the loss of fireworks sales.
It all began with the Idaho Fireworks Act of 1997, reports the Idaho Statesman. Essentially all nonarieal fireworks like snakes and sparkles. You can read the official statute here. However, as we've all come to know love and hate, the vendors have a unique get-out-of-jail-free card for selling the bombshells that litter all of our neighborhoods.
You can buy the big, whopping aerial fireworks if you promise not to use them in the state. In other words, it's an honor system that no one honors. Law enforcement does not have the workforce or the will to arrest the numerous amounts of Idahoans shooting off their fireworks after signing an affidavit vowing not to do so in the state.
The Boise Fire Department released a list fireworks that are not legal in the state of Idaho:
- Fireworks containing explosive material that will burn or deflagrate when ignited. (Examples include, but are not limited to, firecrackers, cherry bombs, M-80s.)
- Fireworks that leave the ground of their own accord, or fly when tossed into the air. Examples include, but are not limited to, skyrockets, bottle rockets, mortar shells, Roman candles.
- Fireworks designed for ground or near ground use that travel outside of a fifteen (15) foot diameter circle.
- Fireworks designed for ground or near ground use that, as a means of propulsion, emit showers or sparks longer than twelve (12) inches.
- Fireworks designed for use from a stationary position that emit sparks, showers, or flaming balls, vertically more than twenty (20) feet; or from which discharged material falls beyond a twenty (20) foot diameter circle.
You can read more of their safety tips of safely celebrating the Fourth by clicking the link here.
Some folks may say I'm overreacting and that fireworks are as American as the Fourth of July. The point I have made for years and continue to make is why have a law on the books if you're not going to enforce it?
Let's hope that this year we won't have to hear the news stories on the radio about someone injured or home destroyed because of the careless use of illegal fireworks.