Firework ban in Liberal stands after 35 years

LIBERAL, Kansas – “Every year I hear from several constituents wanting to know why they can’t shoot fireworks,” said Liberal Mayor Joe Denoyer.

The County resolution banning sale, storage, and use of fireworks anywhere within Seward County dates back to 1980.

“[They] decided that it was better and safer not to have fireworks all over the county, especially the city,” said County Commissioner Jim Rice.

Most fireworks are legal in Kansas, but counties and municipalities have the final say.  Many decide to ban or allow the Independence Day tradition from year to year based on weather, some in Liberal support that idea.

“It would make less for our police department having to chase down bottle rocket shooters, it would show that we’re being a little more progressive in allowing people to do some things,” Denoyer said.

However, there has been no move by the County Commission to make a change.

“There’s no consideration at this time being given to it,” Rice said.

Locals don’t have to go completely without fireworks.  On Saturday the Liberal baseball team will host a game followed by a 30 minute firework display free of charge.

Despite the ban and public show there are still a handful of private displays each year.

“They sell fireworks across the Stateline, which is only a mile away, so they can go get them,” said Seward County Fire Department Battalion Chief John Steckel, “it’s easy to purchase them so then they want to use them.”

Locals are reminded police will be enforcing the law, writing citations to appear in court and seizing fireworks.

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