Jun 8, 2022 - News

Columbus keeps its fireworks ban

Illustration of scissors cutting a lit fuse on a firecracker.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

If you want to celebrate the Fourth of July the loud, old-fashioned way, you'll have to do so outside Columbus city limits.

Driving the news: City Council voted Monday to maintain the city's ban on owning or igniting fireworks without permission from the fire department.

State of play: This local law is meant to counteract the statewide legalization of consumer-grade fireworks going into effect July 1.

The intrigue: Ohio has long had an odd relationship with fireworks. Under the old law, the state allowed them to be bought and sold ā€” but not actually set off.

  • That law technically required purchasers to take their fireworks out of the state within 48 hours of a sale.
  • Not that these rules kept Ohioans from enjoying fireworks anyways, as those with "especially patriotic" neighbors could tell you.

What's happening: The new state law allows Ohioans to discharge fireworks on specific holidays like New Year's Eve and Memorial Day, plus July 3-5 and the weekends before and after the holiday.

Yes, but: The state law offers cities the chance to further restrict fireworks usage or ban them entirely.

Of note: Red, White & Boom, the region's biggest fireworks display, will return for the first time since 2019 off the east bank of Genoa Park.

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