AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – This is the season to stock up on fireworks in preparation for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Before making a purchase, customers in Ohio are required to fill out a form with personal information and acknowledgment that the fireworks will be transported out of the state within 48 hours. But a new law will make things easier for the customer next year and one Youngstown fireworks company is welcoming the change.
The new law eliminates the requirement of the form, but the products will still need to be taken out of Ohio. Phantom Fireworks was founded in Youngstown more than 30 years ago and now has 75 locations across the country.
Vice President Bill Weimer said the legislative change is confusing, but could mean more business.
“They are not going to sign the statement, so they may think the requirement is gone, but in reality it is still there,” Weimer said.
Phantom customers were filling their carts Thursday afternoon, some with thousands of dollars in merchandise. Weimer expects an even larger crowd in the coming days.
If anyone has not stocked up yet, he has a few recommendations.
“The best sellers hands down are the reloadable shell kits, the 200-gram aerial repeaters and the 500-gram aerial repeaters. People love the show up in the air, the color, the noise. That is traditionally what you think about with fireworks,” Weimer said.
The Youngstown Police Department has a few safety tips, but wants to remind people that it is still illegal to shoot off fireworks in the state of Ohio.
“If you are going to do something like this, make sure you have a bucket of water or garden hose close by to put out the fire. If the person is going to be shooting off fireworks, they should probably not be drinking alcohol or engaging in other behavior that might alter their mental state,” Youngstown Police Lt. Bill Ross said.
One Phantom customer walked out the door with $16,000 worth of merchandise, but with a few good coupons only spent around $8,000. Weimer said that is two pickup trucks full of fireworks.