Setting off fireworks still illegal in Ohio as July 4 nears

Fireworks were set off on High St. during a celebration of Juneteenth in front of the Statehouse, Friday, June 19, 2020. Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that would let folks set off fireworks on their own property.

As Independence Day looms, bills allowing Ohioans to set up fireworks in their neighborhoods are making their way through the legislature. It's the latest in a line of attempts throughout many years to legalize residential fireworks.  

This year, though, could be the moment those efforts come to fruition.

"I have pretty strong confidence," said co-sponsor Sen. Michael Rulli, R-Salem, on the chances of his bill. "I think we have the votes. The temperature of the Statehouse is extremely favorable for this bill to pass."

Fireworks currently can be purchased in Ohio by consumers but can't be set off in the state. Even though one could face a misdemeanor and fine for violating the rule, it's rarely enforced, and Ohioans have worked their way around it.

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