I think most people would say that the first year of legal fireworks sales in Iowa last year was a mixed bag. Retailers saw huge sales. But some cities, including Cedar Rapids, saw some communities become a 'war-zone'. Needless to say, not everyone is responsible when you put explosives in their hands. Today marks the first day of legal fireworks sales in Iowa. So go out and buy big, but good luck finding a place to legally set them off.

Part of the Iowa state law that was passed that legalized fireworks sales allows cities to set the dates and times that fireworks can be set off. It also allows cities to ban the use of fireworks altogether. That is exactly what the city of Cedar Rapids did. So even though you can legally purchase fireworks here, you can't set them off. It's one of the most ridiculous laws I've ever seen. Legalize the purchase of something, but tell residents even though they spent their hard earned money on it, they can't use it. Ridiculous.

I live in Marion, and the city adjusted their fireworks time frame too. You can only set them off legally on the 4th of July between the hours of noon and 11 p.m. How seriously will law enforcement take these new regulations? That's the big question. I remember when fireworks were illegal to purchase in Iowa. We'd go across the border to Wisconsin, buy them, and shoot them off on the 4th of July. We were never fined, cited, or arrested. Will that change now?

I've long been a proponent of legalizing fireworks. But this current law just mucks the whole thing up. How can you legalize something for purchase and then ban it at the same time? It's another case of a few bad apples ruining the fun for all of us who set off fireworks within reasonable hours and safely. So go out and buy your roman candles and your bottle rockets. Maybe you live in a town that allows their use. At least for this year.

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