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Friday, April 30, 1999



Deal sought
to ground
aerial fireworks

It may become a crime to possess aerials

By Craig Gima
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

Legislature '99 New Year's Eve 1999 could be as loud and smoky as last year, but there may be fewer aerial fireworks.

That's because, despite calls for a ban on fireworks, it looks like the House and Senate won't be able to reach a compromise on a bill to ban or restrict fireworks use.

"We're going to agree to disagree," said Sen. Cal Kawamoto, a member of the Senate conference committee who had pushed for a ban beginning on Jan. 2, 2000.

The House proposal would restrict fireworks use through a permit process and would take effect this year.

The Senate would allow counties to opt out of a ban while the House would not allow the counties to ban fireworks.

Instead the Senate and House were expected to agree to increase penalties for the use, sale and transportation of aerial fireworks and make it a crime to possess aerials.

Kawamoto said current law makes it difficult for police to enforce aerial fireworks laws because police must catch a person in the act of igniting them.



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