Oahu lawmaker proposes fireworks ban

HILO — A bill that would make fireworks illegal for consumer use throughout the state will go before a House committee on Friday.

House Bill 497, introduced by House Speaker and Oahu Rep. Scott Saiki, would only authorize the consumer sale and use of fireworks for “cultural purposes.”


While existing fireworks laws allow consumers to purchase and discharge fireworks on three designated holidays — New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and the Lunar New Year, HB 497 would rescind that permission, with the only permitted consumer use of fireworks to be during “an event relating to the arts, customs, traditions, mores, history or religion of any of the various ethnic groups of Hawaii.”

The bill, which Saiki introduced at the request of an undisclosed party, cites the risks of property damage and injury, particularly to children, posed by fireworks, as well as the respiratory hazards of fireworks smoke and the disruptions caused by loud fireworks noises.

The high use of fireworks during the holidays also places strain on public safety agencies, which might not be able to maintain adequate response levels for other emergencies, according to the bill.

Testimony regarding the bill has been largely negative. The Hawaii Food Industry Association opposed the bill, arguing: “We already have fairly strict limitations on fireworks in our state and we oppose this attempt to ban them further. We are a multicultural state and several cultures use fireworks as part of yearly celebrations of a few significant holidays.”


The House Judiciary Committee will make a decision Friday regarding the bill.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

  1. Fireworks United February 21, 2019 5:48 am

    Kill joys the world over trying to ban fireworks, are there not more important thing that need dealing with?

  2. Buds4All February 21, 2019 6:24 am

    Unreal…that is one thing I like most about the islands. People the next thing is either reusing toilet paper or just using your fingers to wipe the poop out from between your butt cheeks and then flicking it out the window because they do not want your poop going through the sewers. I feel the noose tightening around my neck for government. They are Hitler!

  3. Pest Outwest February 21, 2019 7:40 am

    I don’t particularly have an issue with banning fireworks, they are dangerous, especially in dry areas. But what’s this “an event relating to the arts, customs, traditions, mores, history or religion of any of the various ethnic groups of Hawaii” garbage? Okay, I’m a member of an ethnic group, the Irish, and part of our history is immigrating to America and celebrating July 4. So I get to use fireworks, right? Or is that not what this social justice warrior had in mind?

  4. shirl February 21, 2019 8:40 am

    At last some common sense coming from a legislator. All the dog owners have a chance to back banning Fire works and loud firecrackers.
    Fire Fighters should back this also.

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