Shooting off fireworks in Ohio, a time-honored tradition of lawbreaking across the state, would become fully legal just in time for July 4, 2020, under a bill that passed the House on Wednesday.
For decades, Ohioans have been allowed to purchase fireworks but not legally set them off inside the state. Up until 2015, customers were required to sign a form promising to transport the fireworks out of state within 48 hours. The 48-hour requirement remained, but lawmakers did away with the form, recognizing people regularly lied on it. Starting Jan. 1, 2021, the bill would impose a new 4 percent fee on the price of fireworks. Most of the estimated $1.5 million in annual revenue would be earmarked for firefighter training programs, while a small amount would go to the state fire marshal’s office for fireworks industry enforcement and regulation.