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New Fireworks Law 'Clearly Hasn't Worked,' City Leaders Say

Rochester Hills councilmembers express concerns about 3 a.m. booms over July Fourth holiday.

They were big and colorful and loud and — according to some Rochester Hills leaders — a real nuisance. 

Though the , and though they were legal to use on July 3, 4 and 5 in the city, many residents complained — and city leaders agreed.  

"It's ridiculous what's going on in our neighborhoods right now," said City Council President Greg Hooper. "In my opinion, we are waiting for a tragedy."

Hooper spoke during councilmembers' comments at Monday night's regular meeting about the Fireworks Safety Act, the new state law that legalized devices like bottle rockets, roman candles and firecrackers to be sold and used in Michigan. 

"That clearly hasn't worked," he said. "It's absolutely absurd what the Legislature has done."

Legislators passed the Fireworks Safety Act, which Gov. Rick Snyder signed last Dec. 13, to generate sales tax revenue and registration fees. Sellers pay $1,000 annually for a permanent site or $600 for a tent or other seasonal, outdoor location.

Councilmember Michael Webber said he received countless emails and phone calls about the proliferation of fireworks — including complaints of fireworks at 3 a.m.

Rochester Hills and Rochester adopted ordinances that allowed for the use of fireworks on July 3, 4 and 5 only. However, city officials said they received reports of fireworks on many of the nights leading up to the legal ones. 

"I certainly understand wanting to capture sales tax money that is going to Indiana and Ohio," Webber said. "But certainly, when it sounds like a war zone, I agree with President Hooper that somebody could get hurt, because we are talking about bigger and better fireworks than the state has ever allowed before."

Across the state, local leaders have been busy expressing similar concerns. 

In St. Clair Shores on Monday night, that calls for the repeal of the Act.

According to a report Saturday on MLive.com, state leaders are willing to give the Act some more time before making changes. 

Dan Welch July 19, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Talked to Tom McMillin about this. He told me he is for free enterprise. Thanks Tom. NOT. Marleau up next. I hope I get a better answer.
Suzanne Hester July 19, 2012 at 03:02 AM
It is the 18th of July....give it a rest. Let the animals and small children feel safe.
Suzanne Hester July 19, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Well said, Patricia:) How about Bob checks in with the local hospitals to see how many injuries or faces were lost....or children's fingers:(
Suzanne Hester July 19, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Amen. Local Prof
Suzanne Hester July 19, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Don't give up Dan....I have your back:) Now...as another perspective....my husband was very excited to be able to put on a little show on the fourth, and very happy the tax dollars would go to Michigan verses Ohio....However, the aspect that they are still going on....and in a disrespectful way as to litter and concern for neighbors and injury is out of control. Just like welfare and everything else....starts out to be a good thing, but people take advantage.
Suzanne Hester July 19, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Perfect example...It is 11:18 on Wednesday night July 18th, and Bob Jackie....you tell me how patriotic it is that fireworks are whizzing by my window???????
Scotty O July 19, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Leave it to the Republlicans in Lansing to pass a law and then make all the local governments pay to control it. Extra fire and police action has been needed in most cities in the state. Why people still need to go boom after the age of 12 is beyond me, but if we are going to live with this law it should be restricted by time and date. And also by dry weather conditions. Half the country is in drought conditions right now, we don't need homes destroyed because someone wants to light up the night.
dk July 19, 2012 at 09:52 AM
So loud fireworks for a short period of time in the summer is the limit of tolerance for the insanity that has been coming out of Lansing. Election fraud is fine. Telling parents when their children can drive and with whom is fine. Undermining the voters who legalized medical pot is fine. Cutting health benefits in our insurance policies AND repealing the helmet law is fine. Telling women what to do with their vaginas and forbidding them from speaking on the House floor is fine. Attacking our schools, teachers, firefighters and children is okay-dokay, but keeping people awake at night is just too much to bear. Big government is funding our PUBLIC schools and raising taxes on the rich. Funding charters and raising taxes on the poor and elderly isn't big government, it is just Republicans doing their thing.
Angela July 19, 2012 at 10:49 AM
What I didn't care about all this fireworks crap, is that a street over from me some guy blew off an m-80, which in result, at 11 something at night shook the heck out of my house, knocking stuff off my walls and hitting me in the head! That was it, I couldn't take it any longer. In the subdivision where I live, fire works had started mid-may, going until 1-3am. One time it went until 1 am it was a 12 yr old down the street home alone. SERIOUSLY? I don't hear much anymore THANK GOD! But it really was getting to be a problem. Another night around 6pm (mind you it's still daylight) my son and I took a walk after dinner. The same person street over from me, was blowing off fireworks (6:10 and sunny) Both of us walked by he was polite and didn't light them until we were about 2 ft away (complete disrespect) Not only was it really loud, but the debris from the fire work literally was hitting the cars in the neighboring yards. To top that off part of the debris landed right in from of me as i was walking, still letting off smoke from the "fire". Although I know that we are going to have people who clearly bend the rules, or don't follow them at all, Each and every person buying the now legalized fireworks should have to take a class on safety and learn the rules and regulations. I would say similar to what those who carry a firearm should have to do. People are not educated on the new law with the fireworks, and that seems to be the problem! Good Luck all
Beverly July 19, 2012 at 11:05 AM
I live near walton and old perch...i hate the big boomers especially in the middle of the night or almost daylight...wakes me up and my dog goes nuts...wasn't so bad until they passed the new firework law...now the guy who blew off his leg is asking for donations because he doesn't have any health insurance since he can't work right now...was shooting it off from his lap...duh...another guy blew off his hand...More maimings will happen thanks to our governor....money over safety
Angela July 19, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Bob Jackie, John Adams also didn't say lets start the middle of May, and go until all hours of the night and end 3 weeks after Independence Day. He clearly meant ON INDEPENDENCE DAY! You either are someone who doesn't have to get up for work @ 4-6 am after having to listen to fireworks until 1-3 am. Or you are one of the many who bent and didn't follow the cities rules and regulations of the noise laws. Maybe you should educate yourself on those :) Just a suggestion
Angela July 19, 2012 at 11:16 AM
I'm sorry but i have to laugh at the guy who blew off his leg.. Who in their right mind lights a fire work from their lap, blows off their leg, and then asks people for donations because he doesn't have health insurance? REALLY? Maybe he should have taken the money he spent on those fireworks, and invested in some health insurance plan first. I think they need to educate people, make them take a class, and having to posses something like a permit, or have insurance to cover any loss or damage to bodily harm, or having to replace or repair other people's property. A friend of mine had a burn mark on the hood of her car because of her neighbors blowing off fire works. Yes eventually it will die down, but we have every right to make it well known that the ignorance and stupidity will not be tolerated! Educate yourselves FIRST people and then go light your fireworks!
james.stevensforsheriff July 19, 2012 at 11:31 AM
I Agree, But lets enforce the time limits, some people need to sleep so respect the ones that need to get up early.......
Patricia July 19, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Does anyone know if when you purchase these you have to supply proper ID, copy of drivers lic, last four digits of SS#? It would be nice if every receipt and inventoried "firework" had to be tracked as to who purchased it--and then when the State rec'd this information, they notified your home owners insurance and your health insurance. This should be a liability carriers problem and they should either increase the premiums, cancel coverage for anything related to this or let the State know if you do not carry adequate coverage to protect others. Any property damage, littering, disturbing the peace, and causing others harm or taking away the peaceful right to the quiet enjoyment and use of their property should result in a ticket. We all pay for this, even though we did not make a purchase. And from what I heard, the prices are pretty hefty..$50-$200.00.
Kristin Bull (Editor) July 19, 2012 at 11:53 AM
I wonder if, at the very least, the cities could print a flyer that could be placed at the checkout counter of the fireworks stands that would tell people buying the fireworks when it is legal to use them. Or even a simple sign in the entryway of the tent.
Peter Adair July 19, 2012 at 12:03 PM
I have 4 little children, and I do not mind the fireworks nor does it awake them or myself. I have been up until about midnight and have heard a few go off. People need to take a breath and give it a few weeks, it'll go away.
Bob Mulcrone July 19, 2012 at 12:29 PM
If people were respecting the local ordinance, I could tollerate it but, guess what, the fireworks- shooting crowd doesn't appear to give a damn about the law or their neighbors. If you do, thank you. Freedom doesn't mean freedom to abuse people's right to be in peace inside their homes, or to be able to sleep in their beds at night
Candi Murasky July 19, 2012 at 01:15 PM
AMEN !!!!
Candi Murasky July 19, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Send your complaints & concerns to the idiot that wrote the bill: Harold Haugh, State Representative District 42
Chris July 19, 2012 at 04:25 PM
It's a win-win for everybody!!!! If the local ordinance doesn't allow for fireworks at a certain time, then fine the people and bring in more money for our community. This shouldn't be a big deal.
Kristin Bull (Editor) July 19, 2012 at 06:35 PM
I spoke with Rep. McMillin briefly last night. I asked him about the fireworks law and what Lansing was hearing in the aftermath. McMillin, who said he did not consider fireworks a problem in his Rochester Hills neighborhood over the past month, said there would surely be hearings upcoming at the state level on whether the law worked the way it was supposed to and how cities could have better local control. "Some cities were able to enforce it better than others," said McMillin, who supports the new law.
Erin July 19, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Not sure what I think of the law - but I can say we did NOT have a happy July 7th. Fireworks a few houses down from 11:30-12:30pm - loud booms (M-80's?) and flashes in the kids' windows (even with curtains pulled). Aaaand - cue the twins screaming on and off for an hour. I really didn't want to call the police on a neighbor. I'm hoping the enthusiasm of the first year with the new law will die down, and next year will be more reasonable. It was really, by far, the worst it's been since we've lived here. And that was just July 7th. Sorry to say, but another night like that, and I will have to call the police.
Stephen July 19, 2012 at 11:11 PM
There are just too many irresponsible people in our city that abuse the freedom we all appreciate. The police do not have the time or staff to enforce the ordinance and people lack common sense on this... The new law is a failure for a peacful quality of life... The abuse lasted much more than the three days.
Tom July 20, 2012 at 12:25 AM
I think that's great to hear the fireworks going off on fourth of july it in the spirit Wow wow wow for the rest of you now it's quiet looking forward to the next holiday
Patricia July 20, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Well Bob Jackie, when you register I believe to buy a gun they take the information and it is kept between you and the govt in a registry--they should find away to do this with these explosives as well--because of the danger. The first thing the amateur will say when he burns down his neighbors house, starts an accidental fire that takes out thousands of acres, or injures or even kills an innocent person is "It wasn't me",,,"I wasn't setting them off" "I don't have any" so, if it was registered as sold to you, you are responsible. As far as your remark about porn, cigarettes, maybe you do, I don't...Bob Jackie, you are one angry person.
Patrick M Bailey July 20, 2012 at 05:19 PM
There is a group on face book that is sharing their specific stories of abuse from across the state in Michigan. If you would like to be part of that group, look for Mad At Michigan Fireworks Law. Each senator and rep was sent an email inviting them to read the comments on that page to see none are isolated in one part of Michigan.
Erin July 21, 2012 at 02:27 PM
More fireworks last night - 10:30pm. Luckily didn't last too long. Happy July 20th?
Angela July 24, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Kristen Bull, as it is every american's right to comment and say what they please, is there anyway you could block this Bob Jackie guy with his inappropriate comments and childish behavior? or at least tell me how to block getting anymore messages in my email from this post? I don't know how to block him. Advice appreciated! Thank you :D
David Gifford July 24, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Angela, scroll to the top of the comments and click Stop Following.
Kristin Bull (Editor) July 26, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Here's a follow-up to this story: http://patch.com/A-wzC9

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