no I don’t issue fireworks permits

A resident asked me this week if I can issue him a fireworks permit so that he can launch fireworks from his house. I was a bit confused at the request, until he explained to me that an article in the Green Bay Press-Gazette said that permits can be issued by elected officials. I had not read that article, so I checked my copy of the newspaper from July 4, 2012 and he’s right, it’s right there on the front page. It states:

“It’s illegal to use or possess firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rockets and mortars without a valid permit which can only be attained through a locally elected official.”

newspaper articleNow, I’m not writing this for the purpose of mincing words with the reporter who wrote it, but that quote from Wisconsin state statutes sure isn’t accurate. And if she were to claim that it is accurate or that it’s not meant to be a direct quote, then it’s certainly not as clear as it should be.

The regulation of fireworks in our state is governed by chapter 167 of Wisconsin state statutes. It doesn’t say “elected official”. In the case of the city of De Pere, a permit must be issued by the mayor or a person designated by the mayor. But you can read the statute for yourself.

What has always baffled me about news stories is that they frequently don’t quote official sources. For me, it’s not good enough to state, “Wisconsin law permits….”. I want to know what section of the law so that I can look it up for myself. It’s like creating a web page and not providing links to other related resources where appropriate.

I digress. I’m only writing this to make it clear to my constituents that I don’t issue fireworks permits. If you want that in the city of De Pere, you should contact the fire department.

One comment

  • Scott Crevier

    Note: In the original version of this post, I suggested that, if you want a fireworks permit, you can contact the City Clerk’s office who can then direct you. I included that suggestion because I wrote this post right before heading out to work, I hadn’t yet had a chance to find out the proper office, and if I’ve ever wondered about such things, the city clerk has always been quite helpful in pointing me in the right direction.

    While I’m sure her office will always be willing to properly direct you, I’ve since received an e-mail from the city asking me to direct folks to the Fire Department. So I’ve modified the last paragraph accordingly, including a link to the web page.