Lift of fireworks ban affecting Michiana stands

Michigan residents will no longer have to travel across state lines to legally purchase fireworks for summer holidays like Memorial Day.

On Jan. 1, a law went into effect that lifted a ban on aerial cakes, bottle rockets, roman candles and firecrackers.

“In Michigan, you couldn’t have anything to shoot in the air, it was all ground stuff,” said Mark Huffman, manager of the South Bend Sky King Fireworks. “Now they have stores like this in Michigan.”

Michigan stores who want to sell the now legal fireworks have to apply for a special permit. Hundreds have already been issued, pouring money into Michigan’s coffers.

It’s expected the new law will add between $8 and $10 million to the state treasury.

But it could also take money away from stores like Sky King, which is located just a block away from the Michigan state line.

About 30 percent of their customers come from Michigan to purchase fireworks that, until this year, were illegal.

“There’s not much you can do,” Huffman said. “There’s people out there that are going to put big stores in and we’re just a little company.”

The ban was lifted by legislators to help bring sales tax dollars back into Michigan.

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