One of the Major Goals of the IPA is to be active in the Legislative Process. It affects us all, and more restrictive - draconian - and hobby-stifling Laws - are NOT. The way to go.
We believe that more Education - and more Training - beginning at an early age - keeps us Safe and will make us Safer as a Nation - not less. Amazing things happen when you understand Fireworks. The Fear of them is gone, its replaced with a healthy respect - and you enjoy them more.
More than 70 years of meticulous Government Injury/Death Tracking PROVES that Fireworks are one of - if not THE Safest consumer product available to the American Public today by far. We are told that Fireworks are - Intrinsically Dangerous - this is NOT TRUE. Fireworks - when Misused and/or Abused - ARE Dangerous - when Misused by the Untrained - they ARE the tool by which these Untrained/Unthinking People are Injured or Killed - yet we are Constantly Lied to by our Government and/or Anti-Fireworks People/Groups. Our usage has gone from less than 9 Million Pounds Annually - to over 300 Million Pounds Annually - AND our National Injury/Death Rate has DROPPED to a level lower than 7 decades ago. We are Safer now - Despite what they say.
Iowa is one of the most Fireworks-Friendly of all of the United States. Our goal is to keep it so. Decades of Data prove that Iowa has one of the Best Safety Records around where Fireworks are concerned. We still have our occasional problems, but not nearly as many as some of the most restrictively Legislated States in the Union. We also know that - like with the Short-lived Laws of Prohibition in the early 1900's - Legal Restrictions DO NOT work!
You can let your District Legislators know that we do not need and do not want more legislation. Iowa 727.2 was enacted in response to an inadvertent Fire, set by a young boy - via a Fireworks Accident - many years ago. An Accident like this could STILL OCCUR today - even with our law - and making new ones will not help one iota.
In Spencer, in 1931 a fire broke out after a boy dropped a lit sparkler in a drugstore fireworks barrel. About five blocks of the city's main business district were destroyed. Approximately 75 buildings in all, were damaged.
Five years later, on July 4, 1936, in Remsen, a little girl dropped a sparkler on a pile of gasoline-soaked rags in a garage , destroying 20 businesses. See a theme developing? The resulting fire also left about 100 people homeless. Either instance could have been prevented by early training.
At that time, 727.2 was enacted, and was largely a knee-jerk response (as per usual) - to a perceived "problem". No matter what the initial reason, however, for many decades now - 727.2 has by and large, kept Iowans Safe while preserving our Rights. The consensus so far within the IPA, is that even after 7 decades, 727.2 needs no "fixing" (especially the way our Legislators "fix" things). The Reality of it is though - that the types of Firework in Iowa - is considered "SAFE and SANE". These are neither Safe nor Sane. They may be used by any Child old enough to hold the Firework on their own.
Click one of the links below to see just what the fuss is all about with a new set of (WAY) more restrictive Laws Proposed. One is 'explained' section by section, and/or line by line, the other as it was written. As you can see (even if you aren't a Lawyer), from either the "explained" one, or the original version, is that 727.2 ONLY serves to make the Local City, County, or State Governments responsible to DETERMINE A SHOOT APPLICANT'S FITNESS TO SHOOT. Nothing more, nothing less, and NO Fireworks are made "Illegal" in Iowa, or have ever been made illegal in Iowa - by our law - period. Both Buttons lead to the Same Iowa Law - 727.2 - which is the Sum Total of ALL Iowa Fireworks Law. Either will prove that NO Fireworks were then, (or are now) "Illegal" to possess in Iowa - only to SHOOT without a Permit.
In the grand scheme of things, it works like this: Fireworks (1.3G & above), are controlled by the Federal Government. You can only buy (and so own) anything you have a Federal License or Permit for - with Proper BATFE-Approved Storage. For 1.4G (Consumer Grade) Fireworks however (such as those you would buy in Missouri - and now in Iowa), you need no License, Permit or Storage of any kind. Iowa Law (727.2), makes NOTHING illegal. So; as you can see, you may own as much of as many Fireworks as you want, but 727.2 DOES make it a Simple Misdemeanor to Set Your Legally Owned Fireworks Off - without a Permit. Furthermore - it tasks Iowa's Governing Bodies (City Councils, County Boards, etc.), with determining a Shoot Applicant's Fitness to Stage a Show, but does NOT say how to accomplish this. In some Counties in Iowa - PGI Certification - IS REQUIRED.
It is 727.2's nebulosity shown here in the Guidance to Iowa's Governance area which makes many of Iowa's Permit Granting Authorities simply tell people - "It's Illegal to Own Fireworks in Iowa" and leave it at that. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am no Lawyer, and it would be illegal for me to tell you how to interpret the Law. So; this is my humble opinion only, but I believe the best you could do is take a copy of 727.2 in it's entirety (the file above or below - they are the same one), to your local officials and ask for an interpretation.
After all - that is their job and what they were voted into office for. If they still say Fireworks are illegal in Iowa, push the issue, and ask them which part of the Law says that. I've not had anyone yet who can point to any Law which makes Fireworks Illegal. They have all reluctantly admitted that Fireworks ARE Legal in Iowa despite what people say (including our own Governor, and many of our Legislators) and/or mistakenly think, or what some people are told. By Law, from my opinion/interpretation, they MUST grant you a permit if you are a "Competent Operator' - or tell you why you aren't Competent to Shoot. That is in my opinion, what our old State's Law said - (all 338 original words of it).
In 2016, the Iowa Legislature signed into Law, a Bill that allows for the Sale of 1.4G in Iowa - to Iowans. Prior to this, all 1.4G (Consumer class - Formerly Class 'C'), sales in Iowa had been forbidden. This bill was passed as a Revenue-producer NOT for Safety. By and Large, the new bill was fairly benign, although some things not well thought out, coupled with some very poor verbiage, kept the IPA Membership from voting to endorse it. We Lobbied against the Bill, even Testified against it, but were ultimately ignored. It was signed into Law effective June 1, 2016. This was just weeks prior to the allowed "Sales Period" of June 15 to July 5, Annually. Not many filed for a Sales Permit that year,They just weren't prepared. bringing in just $600,000 in 2016, but rose to 9.9 Million Dollars in 2017, and to 16 Million in 2018 - (both years still well under projections)
So, now Iowans can BUY 1.4G - they just cant USE 1.4G unless your city, or county allows it AND gives you a permit to Shoot it. Some Cities (Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, and Dubuque being among the largest) banned the use of 1.4G altogether. You can buy it there, but cannot legally Shoot it. By and Large, Iowa has always let the Federal Agencies control 1.3G (Display Fireworks, Formerly Class 'B'). You may only by it through Legally (Federally) Permitted Vendors S These separatetore it in Federally Licensed Facilities, Transport it only per Federal Guidelines, but obtain permitting at the Local and/or County Levels. Some Locales require a PGI Certified Lead Shooter before a Permit may be obtained. These separate guidelines made State Officials happy, but makes it harder on the hobbyist. WE now have to find out what is required and by whom or WE are the ones breaking the Laws.
Oh - The Original? 2 Paragraphs Long. The "New and Improved" version? 16 PAGES Long.
Below is SF-236 which is Iowa's new Law pertaining to 1.4G Sales:
If this makes sense to you, write, call, or email your Legislator(s). Tell them you support our current Law, and making more is a bad idea. Click the link (Button) below to find your Legislator's contact info and do it today. If not, we could end up with a State where the State Fire Marshal is involved in Mandatory Licensing (as in Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois & others). Or worse, like Illinois, New York, and others, where the ONLY people allowed to even own or Handle Fireworks (of any kind), are EMPLOYEES of a Display Company, or the Display Company Owner(s) - (Clubs, Hobbyists, and Builders of ANY kind are Prohibited by Law - which we consider a violation of Constitutional Rights).
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