Too many risks for fireworks to be legal
Legalizing dangerous fireworks was a bad idea when it was done in West Virginia in 2016 — and it is no better now for Ohio.
A bill in the Ohio state Senate, SB 72, would legalize consumer use of most pyrotechnic devices, including some powerful enough to blow a child’s hand off. Any one arguing that children are safe under the supervision of responsible adults in this situation has not spent much time at a typical summer evening gathering — particularly when some of those adults might be letting off a little steam with an adult beverage or two.
Most states have bowed to industry pressure and permitted sale to and use of fireworks to consumers. A U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission study of six states that did so found that serious injuries from fireworks increased by about 75 percent since laws were changed.
With July 4 on the horizon, many Buckeye State residents are looking forward to celebrations, perhaps including fireworks. The smart crowd enjoys pyrotechnic shows staged by professionals.
Ohio legislators should reject SB 72. Health care and insurance groups that oppose it are right: The risks of widespread use of powerful fireworks simply are too great. There is no good reason to subject Buckeye State residents, especially kids, to those risks.