The Iowa fireworks ban just might be over.
This past week, the Iowa legislature voted 56-41 to pass a fireworks bill that would, pending Gov. Terry Branstad’s signature, allow fireworks sales in the state.
This is big news for a state where it’s illegal to use and sell fireworks of any kind, per Iowa Code 727. Iowa residents can currently only use novelties, such as snakes and sparklers.
More on the Iowa Fireworks Decision
James Q. Lynch, a reporter with Cedar Rapids’ The Gazette, said in an April 19 article the bill has been a long time coming.
“Long a topic kicked around by lawmakers, legalizing consumer fireworks in Iowa would place the state among 43 others — including Iowa’s neighbors except Illinois — that allow them,” Lynch wrote. “In fact, Iowans already are buying fireworks — just not here.”
Rep. Matt Windschitl, one of the bill’s big backers, told us via email that many Iowans wanted fireworks and that they are an important part of holidays like July 4th.
According to the bill’s official text, Senate File 489, the legislation is called, “An Act Relating to the Possession, Sale, Transfer, Purchases, and Use of Fireworks, Providing Penalties, and Including Effective Date Provisions”.
When You Can Use Fireworks in Iowa
Page 10 of the bill reveals the time and date restrictions on fireworks use. Here’s a quick breakdown of when you can use fireworks, should the bill be ratified:
- General dates and hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. from June 1 to July 8 and from Dec. 10 through Jan. 3
- Special July 4th hours: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4th and the preceding Saturday and Sunday
- Special NYE hours: 9 a.m to 12:30 a.m. on NYE and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays & Sundays preceding & following NYE
You’re only authorized to shoot fireworks on your property or on the property of someone who says it’s okay to shoot on their land.
Violations of these rules, the bill says, are a simple misdemeanor.
When Retailers Can Sell Fireworks in Iowa
Based on what we gathered from the bill, businesses selling fireworks in a permanent structure can sell from June 1 to July 8 and from December 10 to January 3.
If you’re selling from a temporary structure like a tent, you can sell between June 13 and July 8. As far as we can tell, the bill doesn’t allow tents to sell during the NYE season, even if you’re willing to brave the cold.
Fire Marshal Will Oversee Selling Licenses
We looked into the bill to pull out some specifics, and found that the state’s fire marshal will “establish a consumer fireworks seller license.”
This is essentially standard practice in most states — fire marshals can also call bans on fireworks sales during droughts.
Fireworks sellers will have to pay a fee in order to sell product, and any individual, company or organization selling fireworks must do so according to national fire protection standards.
The state fire marshal will oversee the fees generated by licenses and will use those fees, according to the bill, “fulfill the responsibilities of the state fire marshal for the administration and enforcement” of the bill’s regulations.
We’ll Keep You Updated About Iowa’s Fireworks Law
Local news stations seem to indicate that Iowa’s governor will sign the bill, but, until he does, it’s not official.
We’ll keep you updated on any developments, so stop by our blog for more information or give us a call at 904‑213‑0615.
We keep a close eye on fireworks legislation developments, and we can answer any questions you have about shipping fireworks from our Florida warehouse to Iowa.
We’re also happy to talk to you about our product line which, if everything goes as planned, will be available to you once the governor signs the dotted line.