Wichita City Council members are holding off for now on making any changes to the city's fireworks ordinance. The council agreed Tuesday to study the issue more.
Council members are considering amending the city’s stricter fireworks laws to be more in line with the state’s looser ones—allowing all consumer-grade fireworks, with the exception of bottle rockets and sky lanterns. Currently, Wichita only allows novelty fireworks and fountains with sparks less than six feet high.
Fire Chief Tammy Snow said with so many restricted fireworks coming into Wichita from neighboring communities anyway, the current ordinance is too hard to enforce.
“To issue a citation, the officer must have probable cause, which means we have to witness the offense," she said.
Several residents spoke out against relaxing regulations, though some were in favor of allowing bigger fireworks within city limits.
Mayor Jeff Longwell said he wants to revisit the issue in a month or so.
“We know there are folks that want to be celebrating, and let’s see if we can accommodate them and still do a better job of enforcing," he said. "Because what we’re doing today isn’t working ... So we’ve got to change something.”
Follow Nadya Faulx on Twitter @NadyaFaulx.
To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.