(HARRISBURG) – Following a request by State Senator Ryan Aument (R-36), State Senator Elder Vogel (R-47), Chairman of the Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee, & Representative Dan Moul (R-91), Chairman of the House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee, recently announced that the committees will hold a joint hearing for the purpose of reviewing the 2017 expansion of the sale of fireworks and potential ways to address the issues created by it.
Aument initially requested the hearing in August following a deadly 4th of July holiday where an eight-year-old boy in York was killed and his family injured when their house caught fire from fireworks that were improperly disposed. And in Wilkes-Barre, a family of eight was left homeless after an aerial firework landed on their porch as they were getting ready for bed, setting their home ablaze.
In addition to these and other preventable tragedies experienced by residents across the Commonwealth due to the careless misuse or malfunction of these fireworks, Aument said his office has fielded dozens of calls and emails with complaints about the nuisance these fireworks have caused since the passage of the expansion.
In 2017, Pennsylvania’s fireworks law was amended to expand access for Pennsylvanians to purchase certain consumer-grade options which were previously not permitted. Aument voted against the expansion of the fireworks law.
A year later, the General Assembly created the Senate Resolution 6 Commission to issue legislative recommendations to revamp Pennsylvania’s Fire & EMS systems. The final report published by the Commission included a recommendation to completely repeal the fireworks law expansion, or at the very least, implement tougher penalties for violations and more flexibility to municipalities to adopt their own fireworks ordinances.
“Every year around major holidays, I hear from my constituents who are rightfully frustrated by the unenforceability of the expanded fireworks law in our state,” said Aument. “And I agree with them – we must fix this law to keep our communities and our first responders safe.”
The hearing will be held at 9:00 a.m. on December 15th in Room 60 East Wing of the State Capitol building. It will also be livestreamed on the committee’s website here.
CONTACT: Stephanie Applegate (717) 787-4420