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Indiana fireworks bans hitting dealers hard

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Fireworks retailers around Indiana say they're seeing a big hit to sales because of the fireworks bans being put in place amid the state's drought conditions.

Some retailers maintain that many customers are confused by some counties prohibiting fireworks even though they believe state law allows them to be set off on private property around the Fourth of July.

"They've created a patchwork quilt across the area," H.E. Draves, owner of Spiderworks in Mishawaka, told the South Bend Tribune for a story Monday.

Most of Indiana's 92 counties had open burning bans in place on Monday and many of them have issued emergency orders banning fireworks.

Several community fireworks shows have been postponed, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announced Monday it was calling off its traditional fireworks finale during its Independence Day shows this week at Conner Prairie in Fishers. The city of Indianapolis imposed a fireworks ban over the weekend.

"With the excessive drought conditions that we're under, along with excessive heat, we kind of have an extraordinary situation where we have an extreme risk of fire hazard," Indianapolis Fire Chief Brian Sanford told WISH-TV. "We are literally talking minutes, or even seconds in some cases, from the time that a fire can be in a yard and spread to the house."

Don Rennaker, 69, who lives near the Grant County town of Converse, said he still planned to shoot off fireworks from his large driveway even though he's never seen the area so dry.

"I'll have a hose handy," Rennaker told the Chronicle-Tribune of Marion.

Draves said he was optimistic about his Mishawaka store's fireworks sales around the Memorial Day weekend.

"We saw a microburst, then it started slacking off because it got hotter and drier," Draves said.

The Indiana Fireworks Distributors Association said it believes counties are overstepping their boundaries by prohibiting personal use of fireworks but that it won't go to court to stop the practice.

"Fireworks is a two week out of the year business, and some people depend on their livelihood for this," Michael Encapera of Patriotic Fireworks in Indianapolis told WRTV. "So it will definitely affect their pocketbook."

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  • yeah right
    If it truly was one time a year it wouldn't be so bad but it goes on two weeks before and two weeks after and all year long. You can celebrate without fireworks. Your the one that needs to suck it up my friend.
  • The Poor Pets
    Are there no other people in Indiana who have pets and in particular horses, who are tired of having run all the time with fireworks??????? Our pets and horses are terrified all too often because it's legal for anyone with a grudge to use fireworks to harass and terrorize. It's just wrong. And all about money.
  • Agree-no more noise
    As much as I enjoyed going out to see the city fireworks as a child, I don't believe individuals have proper training to deal with their child getting caught on fire by a single sparkler. Panicking parents, ambulances, etc what should have been a fun day ends up in pain for all. Leave the fireworks to professionals. Most of those injured by fireworks are children. I agree with ban on fireworks by individuals. No selling. We don't need the heartache right now.
  • wow, really?
    i live in Washington state and i have a fireworks show every year. there are a couple of people who dislike it, but the majority of people are fine with it, and allot of them even set of their own show in out small trailer park, surrounded by trees. point being: you are the minority, and more people would be pissed off if if you had it your way than there is if you don't, so just deal with it. it is just a couple nights out of the year that everybody else like you has to deal with. god forbid you be patriotic and celebrate your Country's birthday instead of spending the night in your house, probably calling the police on your entire neighborhood for celebrating the fourth.
    • $$
      Fireworks were banned in Indiana throughout most of the last century. There were good reasons for that. The ONLY reason they are sold now is because the industry lobby bought state politicians. If Germans were informed of the true situation with their leadership, 80% or more would likely have opposed it. Had they opposed the nazis would the nazis have had the right to continue to do what they did because they would then have been a "minority" party? What about the "minority" of people in Indiana who have an extreme dislike of fireworks and whose peace is violated by the intrusive noise of them. They have no rights? In Indiana people ARE informed about fireworks, and most would rather not see & hear the drunk yahoos launching them. IF they only did it on the 4th, you'd hear few complaints, but in normal years it goes through much of June and July. This is actually not about minority rights though. Fireworks launchers are not a protected class. This is only about money.
      • Do not be a pawn
        80% of Germany was not Jewish. Majoity rule is correct, but leaving out minority rights can have some negative consequences. Fireworks is the issue now. Please use your mind, the next thing they ban may be something you like, stand for all or lose everything.
      • The right to be (even stupid) iif a reason must be cited
        Why do so many of you think you are defacto rulers? I do not like the idiocy (youth) that leads to a series of bangs going off for two weeks before and after July fourth, but I have no right to tell other Americans my annoyance leads to their governing law. It also sounds as though you would make a perfect dictator, you may as well have said "do as I say, my opinion is what should govern the actions of others". We light the things to celebrate freedom. The big displays pack tons of fire producing hazards, however they are lit by "pros". The County cannot ban idiocy so they ban all of us. If used wisely, and in the proper place, they are of no hazard, and I will not let an over stepping government impede my celebration of escaping a tyrannical government. Popular sentiment does not need protection, it is poular.
      • Stop the madness
        A house fire last night in Pike township was started by..........FIREWORKS. In a survey conducted this week more than 80% of central Indiana residents said they have no interest in using amatuer fireworks and don't want them set off near their homes. It's not just the fire risk, it's the mindless noise that usually goes on for weeks. If it were just on the 4th, ok, but in normal years in goes on much longer. It's time for Indiana to once again stop the sales of these things. The majority of the people would like that, but then again the people don't bribe the politicians like the fireworks lobby does.
        • back to tradition
          Silence has been wonderful! It is nice to go back to the way the 4th was meant to be celebrated. Neighbors setting off fireworks for days on end gets real old real fast.
        • hazard
          I have never heard of a fire being started by fireworks they go out before they hit the ground!!!!!!! Really??? Perhaps you need to watch the news a little more often
        • Good riddance...
          ... to the fireworks. Of course, lots of yahoos will still set them off anyway, but I enjoy the relative quiet. I'd ban them altogether. The ignorance of people thinking that they can't start fires is evidence that people shouldn't be using them. I've seen it happen from a professional show that happened to be done over a dry field.
        • waste of money
          The downtown fireworks are not a hazard. They are launched from 100s of feet in the air, over a mostly concrete covered part of town. Why waste your money on fireworks when you can see much better ones free? If the fireworks industry isn't careful, there will be a huge backlash and next year aerial fireworks sales will once again be banned in Indiana like they were until a few years ago.
        • Come On People....Really
          Okay I watched a video on the news of a reporter taking a sparkler and putting dry grass up to it first of all of course its going to catch on fire you are taking the fire and setting it on the grass and holding it htere til a fire starts.....I took a fountain and some other fireworks and lit them off last night just to see there is no way it will cause a fire people are freakin out about this weather...if mayor ballard is going to ban my fireworks he should ban the indianapolis fireworks too. I am not spending 350 dollars on fireworks and not going to light them off I am tired of this damn government always trying to control peoples lives how about starting with the cigarettes I have never heard of a fire being started by fireworks they go out before they hit the ground!!!!!!!
          • Enjoying the peace and quiet
            I feel badly for those who sell fireworks for a living, but on the other hand, nights lately have been peaceful and quiet compared to previous 4th of July periods, and I enjoy this more. My dog, who trembles with the sounds of thunder and fireworks, has also enjoyed the nighttime peace and quiet.
          • Fireworks Ban
            No rain at all on the southeast side of town.
          • $$$$
            Why? rickJuly 2, 2012 12:02 PM Indiana was better off when these fireworks were not sold here. Does every neighborhood really need a couple of drunk guys launching amateur shows when the pros do a much better job and do it safely The answer lies in the fireworks lobby, apparently with as much clout as the liquor store lobby. Also, Indiana saw an opportunity to capitalize on tax revenue from residents of neighboring states that ban firework sales.
          • bad law
            Allowing the sale of fireworks while forbidding them from being used is wasteful. Law enforcement has to waste time following up on calls of illegal fireworks use when the penalty for the first offense is a mere verbal warning. On top of that the emergency order banning fireworks use based on drought conditions was made after there had been thunderstorms in central Indiana for two days straight. Either permit the sale of fireworks to raise tax revenue knowing full well that they pose a fire hazard or ban the use of fireworks. You can't have it both ways.
            • Why?
              Indiana was better off when these fireworks were not sold here. Does every neighborhood really need a couple of drunk guys launching amateur shows when the pros do a much better job and do it safely?

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