CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As we head toward the 4th of July holiday, West Virginians will now have access to a greater variety of fireworks under a law that debuted last month.
The law went into effect and allows for the use of some aerial fireworks. They can be sold by businesses which are licensed by the state fire marshal and include rockets and artillery shells. Customers must be 18 and have a valid state identification.
In past years, W.Va. residents had to travel out-of-state to obtain such fireworks. For counties that are on the border, like Mingo with Pike County, Ky., it was just a trip across the Tug River.
Charles H. Myers of Turkey Creek, Ky. has been selling fireworks for 30 years. He sets up his tent along U.S. 119 near Subway across the line in Kentucky. He said sales have been slow, but he thinks it is more about the economy than the new law in W.Va. However, he thinks the new law passed in W.Va. will eventually have an effect on sales in Kentucky.
Myers said he thought about purchasing a license in the Mountain State to sell his fireworks, but the cost of a license and insurance was deemed too high.
Fireworks vendors are always set up in Pike County. So far, no one is selling them in Mingo County on the W.Va. side of the Tug Fork.
W. Va. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed the bill into law earlier this year, expanding the type of fireworks allowed.
Municipalities can regulate the use of consumer fireworks within their boundaries.
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)