State Rep. Allen Skillicorn introduces bill to legalize fireworks

State Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, has introduced a bill to legalize fireworks in Illinois.

Relaxing the current fireworks restrictions in the state would help offset tax increases on gas and cigarettes, which took effect Monday, Skillicorn said in a news release. The tax increases will help pay for the state’s $45 billion capital infrastructure plan recently signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

“The gas tax increase and the tax hike on cigarettes will drive people to make purchases in surrounding states and for businesses in communities along the Illinois border, there is going to be a substantial drop-off in sales,” Skillicorn said in the release. “Allowing businesses to sell fireworks is a small way these businesses can make up some of the lost revenue they will experience as a result of the tax increase on motor fuel.”

House Bill 3852 would bring Illinois in line with Indiana’s fireworks laws, according to the release. The bill would allow the purchase of firecrackers, sky rockets and Roman candles in Illinois.

Current law allows the purchase of snake or glow worm pellets, smoke devices, sparklers, toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns and trick noisemakers known as: “party poppers,” “booby traps,” “snappers,” “trick matches,” “cigarette loads” and “auto burglar alarms.”

People go to Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin to buy fireworks now, and although the community has to deal with the noise, Illinois doesn’t get a revenue off the sales tax, Skillicorn said. Allowing the purchase of fireworks in Illinois keeps business local and gives people one less excuse to go out of state to purchase goods.

State Rep. Barb Wheeler proposed a similar bill last year.