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Ban On Fireworks Appears to Be Fizzling

D.C. Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) said this morning that he will propose an amendment to emergency legislation that could ban fireworks a month before the Fourth of July.

There would be an 11 p.m. curfew instead of the outright ban proposed by Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) at the request of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

The curfew and the ban were discussed this morning at a breakfast before the council meeting, which began minutes ago.

Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) said he thought it was "inappropriate" to approve such legislation on an emergency basis without a public hearing on such a volatile issue. "I've gotten e-mails on both sides," he said.

Other council members said the problem is the city's lack of enforcement of laws that already prohibit certain fireworks. "The general rule of thumb is...if it flies and goes up, it's illegal," said Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5).

He called the curfew and ban "knee-jerk."

"So if you have a sparkler after 11, you're in trouble," he said.

Wells rejected a suggestion to take the legislation and his amendment off the table today. "You'll all have an opportunity to vote against it. Just vote against it," he said.

By Nikita R Stewart  |  June 3, 2008; 10:38 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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