Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ignoring state law is not a good idea

Idaho sure does have some silly laws.
Take, for example, Title 39, Chapter 26, otherwise known as the Fireworks Act of 1997.
Basically, in the state of Idaho, people can set off only “nonaerial common fireworks,” which means “any fireworks such as ground spinners, fountains, sparklers, smoke devices or snakes designed to remain on or near the ground and not to travel outside a 15-foot diameter circle or emit sparks or other burning material which land outside a 20-foot diameter circle or above a height of 20 feet. Nonaerial common fireworks do not include firecrackers, jumping jacks or similar products.”
Anything else is prohibited.
Ha, good one. For those who live in Kuna, you know what a joke this law is. The sky over Kuna on the Fourth of July is lit up “like a war zone,” as one fire official put it to me.
Kuna police responded to only 16 complaints of illegal fireworks this year, which strikes me as a low number, as I would estimate five or six aerial displays in my neighborhood alone. People don’t call the police any more because they know the police won’t do anything about it.
Of those 16 complaints, Kuna police issued zero citations — again, for at least the past three years running. Violating this state law is a misdemeanor, so it’s not like Kuna police don’t have the authority to write tickets.
If our police officers feel that the Fireworks Act of 1997 is not important enough to enforce, then please lobby one of our state legislators and get the law repealed. If there’s no need for the law and it’s not really protecting anyone, then by all means, prove it and get this silly law off our books and out of our great state of Idaho

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