Arizona Considers Allowing More Days For Fireworks Sales

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 3:08pm
Updated: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 3:10pm

An Arizona lawmaker and fireworks salesman wants to expand the number days Arizonans are allowed to buy and use them to compete with neighboring states that allow longer periods for fireworks sales.

Sen. David Gowan says it’s “goofy” to accuse him of a conflict of interest wanting a law that not only benefits him but other retailers with stores and tents across the state.

"It's about business that I know about, and I'm trying to help perpetuate it," said Gowan.

The question of Gowan's involvement arose last week as the House was debating Senate Bill 1348, where foes of the bill questioned why other lawmakers were approving something that benefits a fellow legislator.

Current law permits the sale of "consumer fireworks" around Independence Day, Christmas and New Year's Eve. The legislation would add the period around the festival of Diwali, which is celebrated among people who have Asian Indian roots.

But the potentially bigger market for sales comes from another provision in the bill which adds days around Cinco de Mayo.

Gowan called it “citizen Legislature,” as many lawmakers have jobs or businesses outside legislating.

Legislative rules generally do not bar lawmakers from proposing or voting on measures that could result in financial benefit if many others would get the same benefit.

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