STATEWIDE — Fireworks became legal in Maine in 2012 but now one lawmaker wants to see that change.
State Representative Kristen Cloutier of Lewiston wants to ban fireworks in Maine. The proposed bill would prohibit the sale, purchase, and use of fireworks if it passes.
“The state’s stance on consumer fireworks has left municipalities to create and implement their own ordinances which are largely unenforceable and unmanageable by our already overburdened public safety personnel,” said Rep. Cloutier, (D) – Lewiston.
Cloutier said although some cities have banned the use of fireworks, people still use them. Cloutier read a letter from a Lewiston resident during the hearing.
“I’ve been reporting fireworks violations for the past three years the latest was just now and one at dinner time and this year is the worst one yet,” said Cloutier reading the letter.
“Mainers have already proven they are going to use fireworks anyways but I would suggest to this committee that if fireworks were to be allowed for one day, two day, three days whatever it is and if that day is advertised I believe that Mainers are reasonable people and they will follow those laws,” said Director of Government Affairs at Phantom Fireworks, Danial Peart.
Another fireworks-related bill would make it illegal for a person to release fireworks around 75 decibels, the equivalent to the noise of a vacuum cleaner.
The President of Central Maine Pyrotechnics said he invested $4 million in his business and if this bill passes it would put his five firework stores in Maine and its employees at risk of losing everything.
“Because of a minority, we want to stop fireworks in the state of Maine again and say we don’t want this business. Three minutes is not enough time to talk to you folks about the investment I made in this state and in the people of Maine and my business,” said Steven Marson, president of Central Maine Pyrotechnics.
Marson said he felt that the process to talk to representatives had been hard.
“I take care of my things and I’m being denied the right to talk like I need to talk to my representatives in the state of Maine,” said Marson.
The work session on the act to restrict the sale, purchase, and use of fireworks in the state will be on May 11 at 9 am.