Wichita group voice concerns about changing fireworks ordinance

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) A Wichita group says loosening the firework ordinance in the city would be dangerous. The Wichita City Council is considering changing the law to match state statute, which is less restrictive.

The Fourth of July is a little more than seven months away but this group wants to talk about fireworks now.

"We feel like it's out of control and we are looking for a compromise," says Deb Kinkor.

One man says his fourth of July was like a war zone and that's why he wants to try to create change.

He and several others with 'Wichita For A Safe Fourth' got together to talk about what could be done.

"This is a dangerous path and I don't think we need to trade our safety and security, which the city is responsible for a revenue of this magnitude...it just doesn't make sense," says Kevin Stultz.

The group thinks the rules Wichita has now aren't followed and if the rules are loosened, it will get worse.

The city proposed to change the firework ordinance to match the statutes and surrounding cities. That means fireworks higher than 6 feet would be allowed.

Marc Haynes is a retired Wichita firefighter and says he thinks loosening the rules isn't safe.

"They are dangerous ...I've seen it, over my career fires that were caused by fireworks," says Haynes.

Some people do think changing the ordinance makes sense. The city says because other nearby cities have less restrictive ordinances, it leads to a high number of violations in Wichita, which makes it difficult for law enforcement and fire officials to enforce.

While most in this group say they don't want to ban fireworks altogether, they do want to meet in the middle with city officials.

They want the change to be about safety rather than revenue.

The city plans to talk about the ordinance at its meeting again this Tuesday. Members of the 'Wichita For A Safe Fourth' plans to be there to voice their concerns.