(Des Moines, IA) Tuesday evening during debate over lifting Iowa’s fireworks ban, State Senator Matt McCoy (D-Des Moines) had a curious exchange with the author and floor manager for the bill (SF 489) State Senator Jake Chapman (R-Adel). McCoy asked Chapman whether the bill allowed fireworks to be sold at gas stations. Chapman’s answered McCoy explaining the difference between Schedule I and Schedule II fireworks and how the classification impacts their sale at gas stations. McCoy responded, “Let’s dumb this down for me, because I don’t know what a class 1 is, and I don’t have the Book of Mormon over there like you’ve got to read from.”
Chapman is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and spent two years as a missionary to Norway.
McCoy was booed and point of order was called. State Senator Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny), the President of the Iowa Senate, called McCoy to the well. McCoy when resuming his questioning apologized to Chapman for the remark.
Read the transcript below:
McCoy: “Did you say that these fireworks were going to be sold in gas stations?”
Chapman: “It depends on the classification of the fireworks, first of all. As read here, you have to be 50 feet away from dispensing stations. so if were talking consumer grade fireworks – class 1 – if you’re 50 foot from those dispensaries then yes, you would be able to sell. If for some reason there’s bulk storage above ground, then you would have to have a 300 foot space. However, the schedule 2, class 2 fireworks – those are your novelties, those are your sparklers, those are your little snappers that you throw on the ground and then they pop. Those have different requirements, but for the sake of this argument we’re talking about the class 1 fireworks, and right there, it’s a 50 foot requirement.”
McCoy: “Let’s dumb this down for me, because I don’t know what a class 1 is, and I don’t have the Book of Mormon over there like you’ve got to read from… I tried…”
Incidentally, SF 489, passed in the Iowa Senate on a 34 to 14 vote.