Controversy surrounds Illinois bill that would legalize certain types of explosives

Illinois fire safety groups are speaking out about some proposed legislation they say is supported by out-of-state fireworks companies looking to legalize certain types of explosives in the state.

The type of device in question reportedly has 500 grams of pyrotechnic component — the highest level of potency before you need a professional license to handle them.

House Bill 2121 would re-classify these items as non-fireworks.


The Illinois fire officials say that if the measure passes and these types of devices aren't restricted, sellers would not have to be licensed or have insurance.

"They are not novelty items. They classify explosives in different categories. These folks form out of state, the fireworks companies, are trying to misclassify them and actually in the bill they're saying they're not fireworks. You can see by looking at that video that's definitely a firework," said Margaret Vaughn, Director of the Illinois Firefighters Association Govt. Affairs.

"These are not innately safe. They are dangerous. And even when used when parents and others believe they're taking the same precautions, injuries can occur," said Dr. Doug Carlson, Pediatric Emergency Physician of SIU Medicine.

Again, currently these types of devices are illegal — a rule that Illinois fire officials want to stay in place.