State firework laws have changed, but Lincoln remains the same

State laws may have loosened up slightly, but local ordinances can still be more restrictive.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – State laws don’t always match up with local laws. As we get closer to the Fourth of July, it’s important to know the difference when it comes to fireworks.

Lincoln is, relatively speaking, pretty restrictive when it comes to fireworks. The local ordinance has a very small window to buy fireworks: 8 am to 11 pm on July 3rd, and then again from 8 to midnight on the 4th. That’s the same timeframe available to use fireworks in city limits.

“I think there is a lot of variation”, says State Fire Marshal Christopher Cantrell. “We’ve seen here in Lincoln, there’s a 2-day sales period, and 2-day use period Once we get outside of Lincoln, some people just adopt that 10-day period where the State has set the June 25th through July 4th sales period.”

Take Omaha, for example. Fireworks can be sold within their city limits for a longer time, and there’s actually a slightly bigger window for when those fireworks can be used. It’s not much, only about a day. On the other hand, on the Fourth of July, people in Lincoln can shoot fireworks until midnight, whereas in Omaha they have to stop at 11. It’s the same story all over the state, so you don’t want to assume something is legal when it may not be.

“Really the only way to tell is to do that research”, explains Cantrell. “Wherever you’re going to be for the Fourth of July, or to be celebrating, to really just check their websites and check those ordinances to see if they’re going to have a more restrictive law in place that you have to comply with.”

Here’s another example of that: bottle rockets. They were approved statewide, but not in Lincoln. The city’s firework ordinance says they’re still outlawed, “notwithstanding any action by the State Fire Marshal to the contrary”.

Categories: Nebraska News, News