Fire officials say aerial fireworks the public can buy in Pennsylvania are simply too powerful

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Powerful fireworks displays, legalized in Pennsylvania as part of the 2017 budget, and advertised on billboards across New York state as soon as summer approaches, might soon fall under the scrutiny of Keystone State lawmakers.

Thanks to advertising and legalizing, fireworks the general public could never have purchased before are available, and stores are happy to offer deals and specials. What customers aren’t getting, Harrisburg Fire Chief Brian Enterline says, is guidance and instruction.

“They [fireworks stores] are not educating the public, saying you have to be 150 feet away, not allowed to be drinking, can’t set them off in the street, you got to have the owner’s permission. They get their package, spend a couple hundred dollars and off they go,” Enterline said.

The complaints have reached Harrisburg lawmakers and set off a flurry of bills. They would restrict even further times and days fireworks can be legally used, and they would stiffen penalties for violators.

For some fire chiefs like Enterline, the only answer is to turn back the clock and completely ban aerial fireworks, but that seems unlikely to him.

“I don’t think we’ll ever make them illegal again in Pennsylvania,” Enterline said. “I hope that the Legislature will prove me wrong.”

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