Rep. Arthur J. Corvese has introduced legislation that would ban the private use of all fireworks in Rhode Island. The bill is aimed at rolling back a law passed in 2010 that legalized items like sparklers, smoke balls, snakes, snappers, party poppers that emit confetti and non-aerial fireworks like fountains that emit a shower of sparks.
The problem, Representative Corvese said, is that the change became difficult to control, and has apparently led many Rhode Islanders to believe that all fireworks, including aerial ones, are legal. Since they are often easily obtained in nearby states with different laws, since 2010 there has been a surge in their use in Rhode Island, despite the fact that they remain illegal.
“Having received a petition with over 100 names requesting my introduction of this legislation, I believe it is appropriate at this time to take a look at the ramifications of this bill’s passage. I’ve received numerous calls from constituents who believe legalization of fireworks has become hazardous and a disturbance to the neighborhoods,” said Representative Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence).
The legislation would eliminate the language added in 2010, once again banning the sale, possession or use of all fireworks, except those used under a permit for professional fireworks displays. Under the bill, possession of any fireworks would be punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of between $100 and $500; using them would be a felony punishable by a fine of at least $1,000, or up to five years in prison, or both.