In 46 states, you can celebrate America's birthday with lots of brightly-colored fireworks. Illinois is among 4 states that still severely restrict it.

That's right. Of the 50 states, 46 (and Washington, D.C.) "allow some or all types of consumer fireworks permitted by federal regulations."

Illinois, Ohio, and Vermont are okay with "only wire or wood stick sparklers and other novelty items."

The most restrictive state is Massachusetts, which bans any and all consumer fireworks.

Illinois’ Pyrotechnic Use Act prohibits the sale, possession and use of almost all consumer fireworks. While fireworks continue to be an integral part of Illinoisans’ Independence Day celebrations, violation of the state’s ban is a class A misdemeanor, carrying a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail time. And although enforcement is lax, authorities certainly don’t turn a blind eye to residents’ possession of illicit fireworks.

Our next-door neighbors in Iowa changed things around last year:

In Iowa, last Independence Day was the first in 80 years residents could use fireworks legally. The Hawkeye State repealed “the silliest law ever” in 2017, joining the rest of Illinois’ neighbor states in allowing the sale and use of a variety of fireworks. More recently, New Jersey and Delaware – formerly two of the only three states in the nation with bans on all consumer fireworks – loosened their fireworks restrictions in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Illinoisans flock to border states to purchase fireworks every year, supporting out-of-state businesses and handing tax revenue over to neighboring state governments. Indiana has generated approximately $2.5 million in additional annual revenue since relaxing its fireworks laws. Iowa, meanwhile, expects to bring in an estimated $1.5 million in new revenue after having relaxed its fireworks restrictions.

So, what do you think? Is it time for Illinois to relax the rules a bit and keep some of that money flowing over state lines to remain right here?

Or, do we keep things as-is, so we can identify anyone with all their fingers still attached as an Illinoisan?