Tempers Flare As Sioux City Considers Limiting Fireworks

Jul 6, 2017

Sioux City may cut back the number of days people can set off fireworks within the city limits. Iowa legalized the use of fireworks this past legislative session, but some city leaders say people have taken it too far.

The current ordinance allows fireworks in Sioux City on private property from 1:00-10:00 p.m. from June 25 through July 3. On July 4, people can set off fireworks until 11 pm.

But some city leaders like Mayor Bob Scott and council member Rhonda Capron say 10 days is too much. Caprin says the past couple weeks have become a sort of free-for-all that’s made Sioux City sound like a war zone.

"It like sounds like there’s incoming bombs coming at ya," she says. "It’s horrible. It’s-it’s horrible."

On Monday, Mayor Scott wrote on Facebook, "I will be proposing on a ban on fireworks next Monday. If people won't adhere to our rules then it makes no sense to allow them going forwards. I am sorry for those citizens that have to endure this for one for day."

The mayor did not return IPR's request for an interview.

His post was shared well over 200 times and received nearly 500 comments. Some were in agreement, talking about a lack of sleep or how war veterans with PTSD, people with sensory disorders, children and pets find fireworks traumatizing. 

Other commenters wrote that they'd set off fireworks regardless of whether it was legal. Some people called Scott names, and many threatened to not vote for him or Capron in the next election. 

"The 4th of July is about freedom and what we won in this country fair and square," wrote Brett Warchorn. "Who are you or any city Authority to impose these monetary BS limitations on your freedoms?"

Unlike the mayor, Capron hasn't proposed an all-out ban. But she favors limiting fireworks to July 3 and 4 with shorter hours.

"I think we should, should let people have...their time with their fireworks. I get that. But not for 10, 12 days. That's crazy," she says. "That’s not about being patriotic. It’s about making noise and upsetting a lot of people who should not be put in that position."

In addition to the time leading up the July 4, people in Sioux City can also set off fireworks from Dec. 30 until Jan. 1. Fireworks on Jan. 1 are allowed until 12:30 a.m.