Fireworks ban gets first real test
By Mark Carpenter
KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - While many around the nation celebrate America's 235th birthday, Oahu residents are observing the first Fourth of July under the newly imposed fireworks ban.
This Independence day marks the first fireworks-heavy holiday since the ban's inception.
Even though it's been law since early January, many still have mixed reactions.
"It's upsetting because I think as a family there's very few times you can get together and enjoy each other," Kailua resident Pualani Ortiz. "And if you're doing it responsibly and following the laws, I don't understand why there should be a ban."
For the past 43 years, Tom Beaupre has seen many fireworks-filled celebrations and believes the ban is appropriate.
"It's been abused so bad that now we've come to a point where we got to outlaw the whole thing and that's too bad, but it's got to be because it's just been abused," Beaupre said.
Under the ban it is illegal to use and store any illegal fireworks including aerials, fountains and even sparklers. Firecrackers are allowed, however, the user must have a permit.
"I think we all grew up playing with sparklers and maybe not aerials, but definitely playing with sparklers and to outlaw everything is just ridiculous," Ortiz said.
In anticipation of illegal firework use on July 4, the Honolulu Fire Department conducted a four-week program in which people could turn in any contraband fireworks to designated sites around the island without any legal ramifications.
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