A bill to legalize fireworks is headed to the Minnesota House

Are fireworks the next thing to be legalized in Minnesota?

Minnesota laws are changing. First it was Sunday sales – now a bill to legalize more fireworks is making moves.

The bill would expand the state's list of legal fireworks to include “aerial and audible devices” like bottle rockets, firecrackers, and Roman candles. They’d be available to purchase year-round in permanent spaces that meet certain safety requirements, or for 60 days in temporary tents.

It was approved in a narrow 9-8 vote by the House Government Operations and Elections Policy committee Friday, and is now heading to a vote in the House, MPR reports.

Author of the bill Rep. Jason Rarick told the site local officials would still get to decide what kind of fireworks are available in their communities, to satisfy concerns that fireworks are not appropriate for all parts of the state.

“Of the people that contact me that are opposed to this, the main reason they give is ‘this just does not fit in my area,’” Rarick said. “We address that in the bill by allowing the local municipalities, whether it be cities, townships or even counties, to ban use and or sales within their jurisdictions.”

Opposition to the bill also comes from several firefighting organizations, with State Fire Marshal Bruce West telling lawmakers that fireworks injuries have increased 120 percent since sparkers and other non-aerial fireworks were legalized in Minnesota in 2002, KSTP said.

And then there's Gov. Mark Dayton. When similar legislation passed the Minnesota House and Senate in 2012, it was vetoed by Dayton, in part because public safety officials were against it.

But Rarick and proponents of the bill continue to argue that if Minnesotans can't buy fireworks here, they'll just get them from Wisconsin or South Dakota – which sounds an awful lot like the argument for Sunday sales.

“I stopped by one of these businesses last year on July 2 and asked them approximately how many people that you’re selling to are from Minnesota. Their response was about 80 percent,” Rarick told the House committee.

The Senate has a version of the bill and it was referred to committee, but it hasn’t gone anywhere.

Fireworks in Minnesota

It's been 15 years since novelty fireworks were legalized in Minnesota.

But that law only allows for sparklers and other novelty devices – none of those big, booming fireworks we go to watch at city displays.

Still, the Department of Public Safety says novelty fireworks have caused plenty of damage since then. Immediately after novelties were legalized, the fireworks injury rate rose from 20 in 2001 to 92 in 2002, the department says, and those are only the injuries reported by emergency rooms and other treatment facilities.

The people most affected by fireworks injuries are consistently children between 10 and 19 years of age, the department added.

It's not just injuries they're worried about. The department says fireworks damage cost Minnesotans about $4.7 million in property damages from 2001 to 2010.

Next Up

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Duluth man arrested after police chase in stolen pickup truck

He was driving a vehicle that had been reported stolen in North Dakota.

pixabay tractor farm

1 killed in crash between car and tractor in western MN

First responders arrived and found the vehicle off the roadway, in a cornfield.

Stallings surveillance footage - screengrab - crop

New video, body cam footage shows police beating prone Jaleel Stallings

Stallings, who was acquitted, said he fired on the unmarked van not knowing officers were inside.

Bloomington Wentworth scene  - 2021-09-27 - J Nelson 2

Body in dumpster leads to police chase with young child in car

A 911 call said they saw someone place a body into a dumpster outside a Bloomington apartment complex.

st. paul tap - crop

SUV driver crashes into bar patio, injuring woman; man hurt in related shooting

Two men were arguing on the patio prior to the incident, witnesses said.

bicycle cyclist bike

Cyclist critically injured in hit-and-run in Plymouth

Police are seeking the public's help in locating the driver who fled.

ambulance, crash

Second person dies after head-on crash in Anoka County

The crash injured three others, including a 4-year-old boy.

Alex Rodriguez

A-Rod, Lore, Taylor don't take questions about Rosas, Simmons

They did discuss how they see a bright future in Minnesota.

pixabay - tree chainsaw trunk trim cut

Large tree branch falls on MN man, crushing him to death

Police said the man was out in the yard, doing tree trimming work with his son.

Screen Shot 2021-09-27 at 11.19.01 AM

AEW to debut in Minnesota with Rampage, Full Gear PPV

The upstart wrestling promotion has soared in popularity.

covid-19, coronavirus

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, September 27

The latest COVID-19 numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health.

ashley Carlson

Woman reported missing since Friday, last seen near Hinckley

She doesn't have any of her personal belongings with her.


Two plans for legalizing pot in MN, and how they compare

One's a statutory change, the other, a constitutional amendment.

Marijuana legalization bill fails in Senate committee

Today's vote is a blow to Minnesota's "legalize recreational pot" movement.

Maybe Minnesota is going to loosen up its fireworks laws now too

Might we get to buy liquor on Sunday and fireworks that actually go in the air?

Marijuana, cannabis

Minnesota legal marijuana bill headed for House vote for first time ever

The bill passed the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday.

Fireworks bill up to Gov. Mark Dayton

State Senators have approved the amendments added to the bill in the House earlier this week. It's now up to the governor to decide whether to legalize more powerful fireworks in Minnesota.

What's in the tax reform bill just passed by the House?

Also, find out how your Minnesota representative voted on it.