RI public safety officials raise concerns about fireworks law

Providence, R.I. – The swift passage of a law to legalize a limited number of consumer fireworks in Rhode Island has some fire and police officials complaining of confusion ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

State police and fire officials said Monday they would still target people who improperly use fireworks, whether they're legal or not.

The law passed this month allows people to buy certain consumer fireworks, such as handheld and ground-based sparklers, without a permit.

The pyrotechnics that caused the 2003 Station nightclub fire, which killed 100 people and injured more than twice that many, are not allowed under the law. Julie Heckman, of the American Pyrotechnics Association, which writes the standard the state's law is based on, says those pyrotechnics are not considered consumer fireworks and still need a permit.