A Nebraska state law that let local governments decide whether to allow fireworks sales for the New Year's Eve holiday is proving to be a bit of a dud.
The number of stands declined this year to 27, down from 28 last year. The Nebraska State Fire Marshal's office says there 45 in 2010, the year the law went into effect.
Assistant State Fire Marshal Jim Heine says he can't point to a specific reason for the decline, but he speculates that low temperatures are a factor. Heine says some retailers told him they would only try selling fireworks in winter for five years after the law went into effect to see what would happen to sales.
The sale of fireworks is legal just through Monday. Bellino Fireworks was setting up stands Friday in Papillion. The displays are similar to what we see leading up to the 4th of July, just more compacted. One difference is the stands are inside.
“Two years ago, we had a stand outside here, but recently they've made the law a little bit better so we can actually have a store inside, so we've actually heated the place so we've got two stands here at 72nd and Giles and 84th and Giles, both trailers, and they both have heat inside so it’s warm enough to come in here and buy some fireworks,” said Vince Bellino.
The sale of fireworks is not taking place in Omaha, but it is legal to shoot them off, but only until midnight on the 31st.