Ban Consumer Fireworks in Bellingham, Washington
To express your support of a total ban, within the City of Bellingham, of the sales, possession and use of consumer fireworks, please sign this on-line petition.
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Click on "Signatures" above to reviewwhat other folks in Bellingham think about a ban.
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1. This on-line petition addressesconsumer fireworks, the kind that terrorizeyour pets snd wild animals,leavedebris in your yard and onyour roof andstart fires and/or cause serious injuries, NOT those staged professionally, like out over Bellingham Bay each year.
2. This on-line petition is fundamentally different from one you may haveactuallysigned in the past.It has nolegal status and should be viewed basically as an on-line opinion poll.
I. NOISE: Bellingham's Noise Ordinance (BMC 10.24.120) prohibits "frequent, repetitive or continuous" noise from many specific sources, but does not include - or exempt - fireworks - as a source of noisedisturbance. This ordinanceobviously requires revision to recognize thatsome types of consumer fireworks can be the source of"frequent, repetitive or continuous" noise.
II.WASHINGTONSTATE REQUIREMENTS: Washington State Law (RCW 70.77.395), which sets MINIMUM State-wide requirements for when the sales and use of consumer fireworks can take place, also provides for local governments (i.e., the City of Bellingham) to ban and/or further restrict the sales, possession and use of consumer fireworks within their juristictions.
III.BELLINGHAM'S "RESTRICTIONS":Bellingham's Fireworks Ordinance (BMC 10.24.130) is ONLY MINIMALLY MORE restrictive than the Washington State Law. Legal sales are allowed for 8-days during June and July by RCW 70.77.395. BMC 10.24.130 prohibits salesin Bellingham on the 5th of July, a restriction of just a single day!Actual use during June and July is reduced in Bellingham by BMC 10.24.130, from the 8-days allowed by RCW 70.77.395,to ONLY on the 4th of July!Past experience has shown this simply does not work!
IV.OTHER BANS IN WASHINGTON: Currently more that 50 cities in the State of Washington enforce total prohibitions of consumer fireworks. Spokane, for example, (See Link at right) put such a ban in place in 1993, resulting, by 2003,in a 95% reduction in fireworks-related fires (from 1044between 1983 and 1993to 46in the 10-years following the ban)and an 87% reduction in fireworks-related injuries (from 290 between 1983 and 1993 to 37 in the 10-years after the ban). The Spokane ban, per fire department officals in Spokane, has resulted in a paradigm shift that continues to make consumer fireworks there "socially unacceptable". And this is the case in spite of Spokane's proximity to the Colville Indian Reservation, a source of fireworks - including illegal ones - much like the Lummi Reservation here in Whatcom County.
V.BOTTOM LINE: Aban of consumer fireworks has been successfulelsewherein this State and, with your support, it can work here in the City of Bellingham.Again, thank you for your interest and assistance!