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Could aerial fireworks be banned in Utah?

SALT LAKE COUNTY – Policy makers on the city, county and state levels are looking into whether or not restrictions should be tighter on personal aerial fireworks, or, if they should be banned completely.

Over the three days before and after the Fourth of July, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says their office received many calls and emails from people concerned about the noise and the damage from fireworks.  He says, “[It was] a very busy Fourth of July for firefighters.  There were some homes that were burned and lives put at risk.”

He’s added a poll on his Facebook page asking residents if they would support a statewide ban on them.  “So far, there has been overwhelming support for some restrictions on fireworks, but, we want to give it some time to see what people think and encourage people to weigh in and share their thoughts,” he adds.

Leaders in Cottonwood Heights issued a statement saying many residents have asked the city to ban them after a wildfire there.  Currently, state law limits what actions the city can take, but, that could change.

Representative Joel Briscoe is in the process of writing legislation that could lead to an all-out ban.  He’s researching how other states handle aerial fireworks.  Several other lawmakers have contacted him about the number of complaints they’ve been receiving.  “Their local mayors call them, saying they’re having a really significant level of phone calls from constituents and residents [asking], ‘Really?  We allowed this much?’” he says.

He’s not sure if he will have enough support to ban them, completely, but, he says that may change.   “If you have your home destroyed by fireworks, you might be in favor of a ban,” Briscoe adds.

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