Handguns, fireworks freedoms bring July joy to Iowa patriots

Handguns, fireworks freedoms bring July joy to Iowa patriots 8
Fireworks may not be used in areas zoned as Arterial Commercial and Central Business Commercial (in red and pink on the map), according to the recently revised Perry code of ordinances.

Fireworks sales out of tents began June 13 in Iowa, and Perry has attracted its usual share of vendors in the marketplace. Patriots may only detonate fireworks inside the Perry city limits on the Fourth of July between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.

The Perry City Council approved several revisions to the city fireworks ordinance at its June 7 meeting. Fireworks may no longer be used in areas of the city zoned as Arterial Commercial and Central Business Commercial. Violations of the ordinance are considered simple misdemeanors or municipal infractions, and violators will incur a fine of not less than $250.

Fireworks sales in Iowa will continue until July 8.

The flaps of the Freedom Fireworks tent parted this week near the intersection of Iowa Highway 141 and Iowa Highway 144, and a Bellino Fireworks tent is expected to open soon. Don and Valerie Bellino of Papillon, Nebraska, the largest fireworks retailers in the Midwest, own more than 200 retail fireworks locations in six states.

“After many years of work on the fireworks bill, today freedom prevails!” Iowa Sen. Jake Chapman (R-Adel) said April 18, 2017, after the Iowa Legislature legalized fireworks in the state. Chapman, who represents Perry, led the fireworks charge at the statehouse. The Bellinos have donated $6,000 to Chapman since 2018, according to campaign disclosure filings.

America’s patriotism is good for China. Chinese manufacturers accounted for about 94% of total U.S. fireworks imports in 2020. Today 98% to 99% of all fireworks purchased by individuals in the U.S. were made in China. American patriotism is particularly good for Ding Yan Zhong — known to industry insiders as “Mr. Ding the Boom Boom King” — who controls about 70% of the U.S. market.

American patriots’ love of fireworks is growing. According to data from the American Pyrotechnics Association, Americans consumed about 100 million pounds of fireworks in 2000. By 2020 the amount grew to almost 400 million pounds, up from about 250 million pounds in 2019.

American patriots are turning away from big-government fireworks displays in favor of private consumer displays. Revenues for public displays amounted to about $200 million in 2000, and some $400 million was spent on private displays. By 2020 less than $100 million was spent on public displays, but private fireworks sales exploded to $1.9 billion, up from $1 billion in 2019.

The estimated number of annual fireworks-related injuries nationwide rose from about 10,000 in 2019 to more than 15,000 in 2020.

Iowa patriots’ prized explosive liberties will be further extended when the new constitutional-carry law takes effect July 1, allowing every adult Iowan to carry a handgun without a permit as long as the Iowan is not otherwise prohibited by state or federal law from carrying a firearm. Iowans will no longer need any safety training in order to carry a handgun into public places, such as city halls and county courthouses, but private businesses may legally bar weapons.