Fireworks debate explodes as Fourth of July nears

EUGENE, Ore. - The Fourth of July is just around the corner, but two new proposed laws might change the way you celebrate this year.

The Eugene City Council discussed the proposed ordinances Monday.

Eugene Police and Fire department officials also announced plans to invited residents to anonymously report illegal fireworks use to law enforcement by email.

The first proposed law would limit the use of legal fireworks from 365 days a year to 5: July 3-5, December 31, and January 1.

The second includes adding the use of illegal fireworks to the list of social host ordinance. If you host a party where alcohol is consumed and are caught using illegal fireworks, the party's organizer can look at a base fine of $375.

There are differing opinions on the proposals.

Heather Sielicki, president for the Southeast Neighbors Association, said two members of the association attended the meeting to sound off in support.

"We have a lot of people with babies, dogs, cats, chickens - and it's very disruptive to have fireworks exploding in the neighborhood," she said.

Aaron Taylor, who works with Factory Fireworks Outlet, argues the problem isn't legal fireworks.

"These are safe and sane and we're going to get rid of all of it because some people abuse it with fireworks that are illegal," he said.

He said if the days for using legal fireworks is limited, and a holiday lands during the week, folks are out of luck in celebrating.

"Start enforcing laws in the books and then you won't have to enforce the safe and sane use of family enjoyment and fun in celebrating the freedom of our country," he said.