Senator plans to introduce legislation to address illegal firewo - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Senator plans to introduce legislation to address illegal fireworks

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

State Sen. Will Espero will propose legislation in the upcoming session aimed at ensuring illegal fireworks aren't coming into the state.

The proposal comes after a busy holiday season, in which Oahu saw an increase in illegal fireworks use and complaints paired with a spike in police citations and arrests.

Espero, who co-chaired an illegal fireworks task force, said the heart of the matter is that illegal fireworks are being smuggled through Honolulu’s harbor and shipping port.

"If a dirty bomb were to be smuggled into Hawaii and exploded in Waikiki or downtown, the local economy would be crippled,” Espero said, in a statement. “Tourists would cease to come, jobs would be lost, and Hawaii could be thrown into a recession.”

The bill calls for random inspections on arriving shipping containers using explosive sniffing dogs, inspections on containers with legal fireworks, and higher fines and tougher prison sentences for convictions of importing illegal fireworks or explosives.

Funding for the inspection program would be collected through a fee for every container that comes to Hawaii.

The 2016 Legislative session begins Jan. 20.

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