Fireworks manufacturers have been on something of a winning streak of late: Sales of both low-and high-grade celebratory explosives in the U.S. are projected to top $1 billion this year; more states than ever now allow consumers to buy sparklers, Roman candles and other do-it-yourself pyrotechnics. Obscure regulations are being scaled back to help light up the country’s summertime skies.
But with the Fourth of July busy season bearing down, the industry says it still has one big problem: President Barack Obama’s administration.
Whether it be duplicative safety rules on the fireworks themselves or requirements that truckers limit their weekly time on the road, the makers, marketers and distributors of pyrotechnics complain that Obama’s regulators are “completely insane” by forcing so many standards on an industry that’s as much a part of a patriotic summer as baseball and apple pie.
Officials at the Consumer Product Safety Commission counter that the fireworks industry is still operating in a danger zone. Data released last Friday counted 11 fatalities and more than 10,000 injuries from fireworks in 2014. While the number of injuries in the country was down from the prior year, CPSC communications director Scott Wolfson warned “that’s an unacceptable number,” especially as more states open up their markets to legal fireworks.