Michigan fireworks overhaul blasts out of Senate

Jonathan Oosting
The Detroit News
A burst of fireworks lights up the sky in Dearborn.

Lansing — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan to overhaul the state’s 2012 fireworks law by giving local governments greater authority to limit late-night blasts that have prompted annual complaints.  

The proposal would guarantee fireworks can be legally shot off 12 days each year, mostly around the Fourth of July and other holidays. Current law prohibits local restrictions over the course of 30 days each year.

Sponsoring Rep. Jim Lilly, R-Park Township, has said the legislation would bring "rationality" to the state’s current fireworks law by empowering local governments to adopt unique rules on additional days.  

The proposal faced late opposition from a handful of small business owners who feared a new deposit requirement could force them to close roadside tents, stand and other temporary structures. But it was otherwise embraced by the fireworks industry and local government groups.

The three-bill package plan passed the Senate in a series of unanimous votes. The House approved an earlier version but must vote on recent changes before sending the bill to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk for consideration.

The overhauled rules would allow local governments to restrict fireworks blasts most of the year, but they would have to allow usage from 11 a.m. and until:

  • 1 a.m. on Dec. 31 and the Jan. 1 New Year
  • 11:45 p.m. the Saturday and Sunday before Memorial Day
  • 11:45 p.m. June 29 to July 4, along with July 5 if that is a Friday or a Saturday
  • 11:45 p.m. the Saturday and Sunday before Labor Day

The legislation would allow Detroit, Warren and Sterling Heights to adopt local ordinances regulating temporary fireworks stands.

The option would only be available to local governments in municipalities with at least 100,000 residents based in counties with a population of 750,000 or more — essentially restricting it to the three largest cities across Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.