Citing growing frustration by residents over neighborhood fireworks noise, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, have signed on to legislation that would permit municipalities to regulate fireworks use.
“While most of us understand the well-loved tradition of celebrating warm-weather holidays with fireworks, the unintended consequence of expanding firework sales a few years back has been the chronic disruption of entire neighborhoods, especially in urban areas,” Merski said.
Merski also stated that this legislation would help address the problem of fireworks in urban areas at all hours of the day and night.
This legislation according to Merski would also strike a balance between permitting their safe and responsible use and preserving residents rights to peace and calmness.
“This issue has been simmering for some time, with residents calling to complain about terrified pets, disrupted sleep schedules and even traumatized loved ones who suffer from post-traumatic stress. This bill would bring some commonsense measures including time-of-day limitations prohibiting fireworks use after certain hours to help solve the problem,” said Harkins.
According to the co-sponsorship memorandum, in addition to permitting municipalities to set and enforce regulations, the bill would limit fireworks use to between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with extended hours on certain holidays.
The bill would also require fireworks purchasers to be notified of the conditions, prohibitions and limitations on their use and would increase the penalties for violation of municipal regulations.