By Adam Aasen
State Rep. Donna Schaibley, who represents parts of Carmel and Zionsville, has authored a bill that would allow local officials to set their own hours for Fourth of July fireworks.
Presently, state law allows for fireworks five days before and five days after July 4 until 10 p.m., and until midnight on July 4.
Schaibley’s bill, which is similar to another bill in the senate, would only guarantee fireworks between the hours of 5 p.m. and two hours after sunset on July 3 and 5 and between the hours of 10 a.m. and midnight on July 4. New Year’s Eve rules remain unchanged, with fireworks allowed between 10 a.m. on Dec. 31 and 1 a.m. on Jan. 1. City and town councils could vote to change their city fireworks hours and could opt to allow for more days or longer hours, but they can’t be any shorter than state law.
For years, the Carmel City Council has wanted to shorten fireworks hours to reduce issues such as scared pets, babies that can’t sleep through the noise or veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder who are disturbed by the loud sounds. City councilor Sue Finkam previously conducted a survey and found that the majority want fewer days and/or shorter hours for fireworks.
In previous years, a similar bill has been submitted in the state legislature but hasn’t received hearings. Lobbyists from the fireworks companies have fought against restricting the number of days and times for fireworks displays.