Vendors react to Gillespie’s suggestion that fireworks should be legalized in Va.


HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Fireworks vendors are reacting days after Republican Gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie proposed legalizing the use and purchase of consumer-grade fireworks in Virginia.

Vendors from the Richmond area say that such a proposal would benefit the state and local economy while giving Virginia more fireworks options.

The current state law prohibits the sale of fireworks that shoot into the air, like bottle rockets.

In a recent campaign video, Gillespie said that the state is missing out on extra tax revenue and jobs.

8News’ Aaron Thomas spoke with Frank Hall who’s Big Blast Fireworks stand has been in business in Mechanicsville for decades. Hall said the candidate’s proposal would be good for business.

“If we’re having folks that are going out of state spending thousands and thousands, I bet you millions of dollars are lost every year by people going out of state every year and bringing them back to Virginia,” Hall said.

Customers shopping at Big Blast Fireworks said they’re open to the idea as well.

Richmond native Will Herbst said he used to visit other states just to find more firework options.

“That’s money that we could be making here,” Herbst said.

Some area fire departments also worry about the proposal, calling it a safety issue.

Supporters of the idea hope to see it come alive by July 4, 2018.

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