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Mayor Vetoes Latest Fireworks Ordinance

Thursday December 15, 2011

Threat to public safety

Citing an increased threat to the safety of citizens, especially children, Mayor Greg Fischer today vetoed the ordinance passed recently by the Metro Council that would allow the sale and use of more powerful and dangerous fireworks.

“My first priority as mayor is to make sure that all of our citizens are safe,” Fischer said. “I agree with the police, fire, EMS and other members of our city public safety team that this ordinance is a threat to the safety of our citizens and unnecessarily exposes property and our firefighters to potentially dangerous situations.”

Fischer noted that the existing law already permits the sale and use of ground control fireworks – those that do not explode and are not aerial. The ordinance approved by the Metro Council on Dec. 8 would expand the law to allow the sale and use of more powerful and airborne fireworks, those that Fischer said are “best left for trained professionals to explode.”

“I realize that these more dangerous fireworks are available in nearby counties, but that does not make it the right thing for us to do,” Fischer said. “These powerful explosives are not appropriate for our more dense urban environment. As both mayor, and as a father, the last thing I want to see happen is a child to have a finger blown off or have some other injury due to these more dangerous fireworks.”

Noting similar concerns for public safety, other cities in the region have banned the sale and use of powerful and aerial fireworks including Nashville despite a Tennessee law similar to Kentucky’s that allows such fireworks. Other cities such as St. Louis and Charlotte have similar restrictions on more powerful fireworks. Lexington also recently passed a new law that restricts the sale and use of fireworks.

Fischer said the existing fireworks law allows all citizens to safely celebrate and enjoy holidays such as the 4th of July.