Michigan firework laws: Commission calls for return to previous restrictions

(Image by Eric Spaete from Pixabay)

Officials in Wayne County are pushing to tighten firework laws that were changed more than a decade ago.

The Wayne County Commission said Tuesday that state lawmakers should return to restrictions before changes that went into effect in 2012. 

Those laws allowed for the sale and use of consumer-grade fireworks in Michigan. Prior to this, you could only legally buy and use ground-based fireworks and novelty items, such as sparklers and smoke devices.

Related: Police targeted with mortar round on Fourth of July

"Specifically, we'd like to see a return to the normalcy that we had a few years ago," Commissioner Ray Basham (D-Redford Township) said. "The kinds of fireworks being shot off by people today are louder and far more dangerous than what were previously allowed."

The laws also set a schedule that allows these fireworks to be used at certain times around major holidays, such as the Fourth of July. Local governments are not allowed to regulate firework use during the times the state allows them.

"Some of these fireworks are especially dangerous in high-density communities like those we have in Wayne County and, of course, they are disturbing to pets," said Commissioner Sam Baydoun (D-Dearborn). 

Baydoun noted an incident this past Fourth of July where a group of teens was shooting off fireworks in the middle of Ford Road. When officers arrived to break up the impromptu display, someone launched a mortar round at a police vehicle.

"We need to put a stop to this one and for all," Baydoun said.