A 22 year old Maine man died on July 4th after attempting to shoot a firework off of his head. Now, his mother is pushing for stricter laws governing fireworks nationwide.
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Kathleen Staples wants to see fireworks regulated in the same way as guns and cars. She thinks that a training class should be required before anyone can handle fireworks and has also alluded to background checks.
According to statements she made to the Associated Press:
“At least it’d be a little bit more than, ‘Here you go,'” Staples said. “That’s an explosive. They didn’t just hand me a license and put me in the car.”
Devon’s older brother, Cody, watched the grisly tragedy unfold from just 5 feet away and said his brother was just trying to make people laugh with before the fatal explosion.
“There was no rushing him to the hospital. There was no Devon left when I got there,” Cody Staples, 25, told The News Sunday. “It was a freak accident. But Devon was not the kind of person who would do something stupid. He was the kind of person who would pretend to do something stupid to make people laugh.”
She plans to work with Maine lawmakers to possibly introduce legislation either regulating or banning fireworks prior to next independence day.
Tens of millions of people celebrate several holidays throughout the year by setting off fireworks. While there are notable accidents each year, the number of severe accidents remains statistically low compared to the number of people using fireworks.
Maine legislator Michel Lajoie told The Associated Press he will seek to introduce a new bill to change the current law but acknowledged there is strong support from retailers to allow for the sale of fireworks.
“They’re going to say, ‘Well, you can’t regulate stupidity’ … and it’s true, you can’t. But the fact of the matter is you have to try something,” Lajoie said. “I’m not giving up.”