HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania state lawmakers are proposing new limits on fireworks in response to growing complaints after a 5-year-old state law dramatically liberalized their sales and use .

The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 160 to 38 for legislation that would restrict their use to 10 a.m.-10 p.m., except July 2-4 and December 31, when they could be used until 1 a.m. or illegal use.

“It looks like a war zone the week of July 4”, said the sponsor, State Representative Frank Farry, R-Bucks. “We get a lot of complaints from pet owners, veterans and parents of young children.”

Firefighters are widely believed that the 2017 law has led to more fires and deaths. Farry, a firefighter, said the proposed changes are designed to allow people “Always shoot fireworks with responsible controls.”

Under the bill, people would have to give livestock owners or managers three days notice before fireworks can be used near a pet store. Local municipalities would get more explicit authority to ban their use if their city or town doesn’t have a place where they can be used safely.

The bill also changes the use of a 12% levy put on fireworks on top of sales tax. The current law directs 2% to emergency services and 10% to the state’s general fund. Farry’s bill would divert the 12% to various emergency service uses, or about $10 million to $12 million a year.

Until the 2017 law change, fireworks in Pennsylvania were largely limited to sparklers and similar novelties. The amendments permitted the sale of the full line of fireworks that meet federal consumer standards.

The increased use of fireworks across the country has prompted complaints in recent years.

The bill has been sent to the Senate for consideration.



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