Manheim Township starts conversation to regulate fireworks

Lancaster

MANHEIM TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — Life near the pond at Kissel Hill Commons is supposed to be relaxing, but Barry Kauffman said it’s been anything but since Pennsylvania passed a change to the fireworks law in 2017.

Kauffman said in the years since 2017 he had instances where he’s been picking up fireworks debris in his neighborhood and off of his car.

“Professionally done fireworks are a wonderful thing, but since the legislature 3 years ago enhanced the kind of fireworks the public citizens are allowed to own and set off things have gotten out of hand,” Kauffman told abc27 News.

Fireworks, once illegal for many in Pennsylvania to purchase and set off are now largely legal.

The legislature allowed changed the fireworks law in 2017 to allow Pennsylvania residents to purchase and set off consumer-grade fireworks to help balance the state budget.

Kauffman, who is a Manheim Township commissioner, said many in Manheim Township are fed up with consumer-grade fireworks being set off near their homes and he’s now leading the efforts for the township to examine what it can do to limit fireworks.

“If you’re going to be a public official you need to take action to protect people and property,” Kauffman said.

Many say the current law on fireworks don’t allow police to take action.

Statewide bills aimed at changing the firework law have failed.

Kauffman said the township faces an uphill battle against tougher restrictions.

“We just feel it’s our responsibility to look out for the people of our township,” Kauffman said.

Statewide House Bill 988, recently introduced, would largely ban the sale of consumer-grade fireworks to residents.

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