On January 1, 2012, the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act went into effect. It marked a significant change in how the state of Michigan treats the sale and use of “consumer fireworks.” Effectively, the new statute authorizes the sale and use of Roman Candles, bottle rockets, aerials, and other fireworks that had previously been banned. Almost immediately, challenges and complaints were raised. On one side, eight fireworks vendors challenged the constitutionality of one of the law’s provisions that required such vendors to purchase insurance at an arguably unreasonable rate. The court dismissed that case, holding that it could not be said that the Act’s insurance requirement lacked a rational basis. On the other side were local municipalities that opposed the new law and immediately sought to limit its impact in their jurisdictions. For example, Warren, Michigan passed an ordinance that would prohibit the use of fireworks within 30 feet of a residential building. Though provisions of the law might need adjustment once their impact is seen, this is not something that should be done prematurely. This Comment advocates a careful, calculative approach to potential reforms of Michigan’s nascent fireworks law. Instead of changing the law, the legislature should hold off on any revisions until the law’s full impact can be seen.
Playing With Fire: Proceeding Cautiously With Reforms to the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act,
U. Mich. J. L. Reform Caveat
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjlr_caveat/vol46/iss1/12
This Comment was originally cited as Volume 2 of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Online. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of MJLR Online have been renumbered 45, 46, and 47 respectively. These updated Volume numbers correspond to their companion print Volumes. Additionally, the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Online was renamed Caveat in 2015.