Eugene may further restrict legal fireworks, limiting days of use - and acceptable volume

Under the proposed ordinance, big commercial displays would be restricted to July 3, 4 and 5. (Tristan Fortsch)

EUGENE, Ore. - The City of Eugene may move to further restrict legal fireworks, reducing the number of days they are legal to use - and requiring the use of "quiet" fireworks.

The City Council vioted 7-1 Wednesday to direct staff to draft an ordinance.

If passed next month, many legal but noisy fireworks would be prohibited year-round.

The proposal would also limit days on which fireworks could be discharged.

The current law allows retail sales and use of fireworks from June 23 through July 6.

The plan making its way through the city would limit personal use to July 3 and July 4.

Big commercial displays would be restricted to July 3, 4 and 5.

"The interest I heard yesterday was reduce the amount of days and try to find a path toward quieter fireworks that are less impactful on vets and pets," Chief Joe Zaludek of the Eugene-Springfield Fire Department said Thursday.

But what about community groups and churches that rely on fireworks sales as fundraisers?

"My understanding is there are no changes intended in this ordinance change that speak to anything when the fireworks stands are set up," Zaludek said.

Churches like Crossfire Ministries hope that's true.

"It would change that I feel dramatically and would be a big impact on our ability to continue to outreach," said Anthony Hopper with Crossfire Ministries.

The City also plans to pursue the use of a smartphone and tablet app called "Nail 'Em".

Zaludek said the app allows residents take pictures of the sale or use of illegal fireworks and report it to law enforcement.

"What we know is communities that use this have had tremendous success with reducing and eventually eliminating the use of illegal fireworks," Zaludek said.

The app is marketed by TNT Fireworks, a manufacturer of legal fireworks.

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