Gov. Mike DeWine announced Friday he is vetoing a bill that would have made consumer fireworks legal in the state of Ohio.
Current state law stipulates that consumer fireworks cannot be used within the state. Although fireworks sales are permitted within the state, consumers are expected to shoot the fireworks in another state.
Had the bill been approved, it would have allowed Ohioans to launch fireworks on designated days of the year, including the Fourth of July weekend and New Year's Eve.
The bill, Substitute Senate Bill 113, was passed by the House and Senate late last month. The bill passed by a mostly party-line vote with most Republicans voting in favor of the legislation.
In the days since, Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks died in Michigan in what authorities called a fireworks incident.
DeWine said the law would have been one of the least restrictive involving fireworks in the country. While not citing Kivlenieks’ death, DeWine noted an incident in Lawrence County when a fireworks store exploded in 1996.
“There have been 2 major studies [since then], one by Battelle Labs in 2000 and another study by Southwest Research Institute in 2008 to help find better ways to build and operate fireworks stores. SB 113 does not require compliance with the safety measures outlined in these studies but nevertheless doubles the square footage of stores that are selling these devices to the public,” DeWine said.
Although DeWine issued a veto, it is possible the law will still go into effect. Three-fifths of the House and Senate can override a governor’s veto. The bill passed the House by a 67-27 margin and the Senate by a 24-8 margin.