Governor Vetoes Fireworks Bill

Governor DeWine has vetoed a bill that would have legalized the non-professional use of fireworks in Ohio.

The bill would have closed a loophole in state law by allowing people to both purchase and legally use fireworks during holidays.

Current law requires people who purchase fireworks in Ohio to transport them out of the state within two days.

In his veto message the governor said the bill would allow the discharge, by nonprofessionals, of fireworks, including bottle rockets, firecrackers, and aerial fireworks, at all hours of the day.

The bill also doubles the allowable square footage of fireworks stores, increasing them from 5,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet, without requiring adequate safety features in those stores with enhanced square footage.

The governor said, since the Scottown fireworks store tragedy in 1996, there have been 2 major studies, one by Battelle Labs in 2000 and another study by Southwest Research Institute in 2008 (produced for the fireworks industry) to help find better ways to build and operate fireworks stores.

He said SB 113 does not require compliance with the safety measures outlined in these studies but nevertheless doubles the square footage of stores that are selling these devices to the public.

The governor said his veto of SB 113 is in the public interest because the bill would bring about a dramatic change in Ohio law, which would make Ohio one of the least restrictive states in regard to fireworks laws.

The veto comes days after Columbus Blue Jackets player Matiss Kivlenieks was killed in a fireworks accident in Michigan.