Safety, taxes, tradition shadow fireworks debates

The debate over fireworks, access and safety has tended to mirror a much more fraught topic that typically draws more attention and outrage: The gun rights debate.
Fireworks explode over the Arkansas state Capitol on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Explosive debates over fireworks laws erupted in legislative chambers across the country this year as lawmakers responded to complaints from residents and aimed to keep pace with neighbors.

Connecticut and Maryland lawmakers considered bills to expand the types of fireworks that are legal to sell and use, while bills in West Virginia and Hawaii advanced new restrictions on fireworks currently for sale.

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