Ald. Cavalier “Chevy” Johnson
Press Release

Council approves resolution calling for restrictions on firework sales

News release from Alderman Cavalier Johnson

By - Jul 30th, 2019 05:43 pm

The Common Council today approved legislation that seeks to make it tougher for Milwaukee residents to purchase fireworks at Wisconsin locations where fireworks are sold.

Common Council File # 190580, sponsored by Alderman Cavalier Johnson, directs the city’s Intergovernmental Relations Division to push the Legislature to change state law to require fireworks sellers to check whether a potential buyer resides in a community where the possession and use of fireworks are prohibited, such as Milwaukee. Currently, fireworks are routinely sold in Wisconsin municipalities outside of Milwaukee (and other Wisconsin communities where fireworks are illegal) and there is no requirement for the seller to check where the buyer resides.

The file was amended to make an exception for Milwaukee residents who own vacation homes located elsewhere in Wisconsin.

File #190580 also directs the city’s Intergovernmental Relations Division to push the Legislature to make the requirements of obtaining a fireworks distributor license more stringent. It notes that illegal fireworks can cause serious injuries, including burns, contusions, lacerations, and head and eye wounds, with children ages 5 to 9 facing the highest risk of injury. The Milwaukee Fire Department recommends that trained professions under controlled settings should be the only persons permitted to use fireworks.

“The National Fire Protection Association states that based on the amount of time and quantities in use, fireworks pose a higher risk of death than any other consumer product,” said Ald. Johnson. “Additionally, firework-related fires and personal property destruction can become a drain on the resources of the Milwaukee Fire Department, the Milwaukee Police Department and the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office. Illegal fireworks make Milwaukee less safe, and the Legislature must move to put increased restrictions on fireworks sellers.”

Alderman Michael J. Murphy, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd and Alderman José G. Pérez, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II and Alderman Khalif J. Rainey are co-sponsors for this legislation.  –

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