I was surprised when an arid state like Arizona passed legislation allowing consumer fireworks to be sold and discharged in Arizona. Talk about opening Pandora’s box!
Washington state for years has had the same type of fireworks law Arizona now has. Arizona may soon discover what Washington has been trying unsuccessfully to regulate for years. When a state prohibits the sale or use of a product, the Indian nations can’t legally sell this product. However, when a state only regulates a product, the tribes can then sell on tribal lands any items of this product that are federally legal.
In other words, now that Arizona allows consumer fireworks to be sold, the tribes can sell them on tribal lands. Federally legal fireworks include firecrackers, sky rockets, mortars and bottle rockets. These fireworks are supposed to be discharged only on tribal lands, but as Washington has learned from experience, this is almost impossible to enforce. Normal law-abiding citizens flock to the reservations to buy fireworks for their use off the reservation.
Like with many things, with fireworks, the bigger the better. The next boom Arizona experiences possibly won’t be an economic one.
Larry Glenn, Apache Junction
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