Today, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed into law a bill that legalizes the sale and use of consumer fireworks.
The news is a big win for the state’s fireworks consumers, most of whom previously drove to Missouri to buy their stash.
That Branstad signed the bill was not a big surprise, considering he told Cedar Rapids’ The Gazette in April that “we have a lot of Iowans that go out of state to buy their fireworks” and that he was “not opposed to Iowa having access to legal fireworks on a limited basis.”
Bringing those sales back into the state will generate $1.5 million in sales tax revenue for the 2018 fiscal year, according to estimates from the Legislative Services Agency.
The Basics of Iowa’s Fireworks Law: Selling and Shooting Hours
The new law allows fireworks retailers with a permanent building to sell their product from June 1 through July 8 and from Dec. 10 to Jan. 3. Retailers in a temporary building or tent can sell from June 13 to July 8.
As we mentioned in the post we wrote after the Iowa Senate passed the fireworks bill, citizens can shoot fireworks from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. during selling season, with extended hours for July 4th, New Year’s Eve and several other weekend dates.
The law includes consumer fireworks of all kinds, including repeaters, shells, fountains and firecrackers.
The Loophole in Iowa’s Fireworks Law: Cities Might Opt Out
While we’re excited that Iowa is finally getting consumer fireworks, there’s still a lot that we won’t know about which counties and cities will allow fireworks.
The law includes an opt-out clause that allows cities to prohibit the use of fireworks but not their sale.
A recent report from Des Moines’ KCCI indicates that city leaders are already discussing the possibility of opting out of the law over safety concerns, and that, according to one city council member, the city is “leaning toward the option.”
In the same article, Urbandale City Manager A.J. Johnson said the city is going to opt-out of the law.
Be sure to check with your local authorities to see whether fireworks will be allowed in your area.
Additional Resources: Permits and Licenses
In order to sell fireworks in Iowa, you’ll have to apply for a business license and a fireworks retail license. You can learn about all the details of both at the following links:
- Iowa Department of Revenue’s “Starting a Business” page
- Iowa Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal page
The fire marshal’s page will most likely be updated in the next few weeks to include procedures and rules for selling fireworks.
If you want to read through the original text of the law when it was passed by the Senate, click here to read it.
Running a Fireworks Stand in Iowa
Once you’ve read up on what you need to do, license- and permit-wise, to start selling fireworks in Iowa, take a look at our series of posts on How to Run a Fireworks Stand.
We wrote the series based on our experience selling fireworks here in Florida and working with resellers around the country through our wholesale fireworks division.
Each post is in-depth and will help you understand how to choose a location, how to hire employees, how to manage your cash, how to market stand and run as well as several other crucial areas of your fireworks business.
You can also call us at 904‑213‑0615. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you have about product, pricing and more.