New law takes the lie out of Ohio's fireworks 'Liar's Law'

AP News
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Posted: Jul 03, 2015 12:50 PM

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio eliminated part of its "Liar's Law" that for years has required residents to make empty promises to take fireworks they bought out of state within 48 hours.

Gov. John Kasich signed a provision eliminating a requirement that consumers sign a form promising to take them out of state, the Dayton Daily News reported Friday (http://bit.ly/1NBxHyV).

It's still illegal to set off fireworks, but the law regulating them has long been known as the "Liar's Law" because sights and sounds around July 4 indicate the fireworks are staying home.

Some people think removing the consumer signature requirement may cause even more confusion.

"In order to stop making people 'quote unquote' liars, they have eliminated the statement but haven't changed the law. So, I think it's going to be a bit confusing next year. It won't be in effect this year," William Weimer, vice president of Phantom Fireworks, a wholesaler based in Youngstown. "It doesn't clean it up at all. I think it confuses it a little more."

In the closing days of last year's legislative session, Ohio nearly legalized the use of consumer fireworks without time or date restrictions, but the measure ultimately fell through in its final stages.

The only legal consumer fireworks are novelty trick items, like smoke bombs, snakes or sparklers. Violators face fines of up to $1,000 and six months in jail.

The bill also extended a moratorium on the number of licenses issued to fireworks dealers and wholesalers. For another two years the cap will remain at about 50 licensees.

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Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com