What Fireworks are Legal in Pennsylvania?

If you live in the state of Pennsylvania, you may have noticed a big shift in the number of fireworks you heard being set off in your neighborhood. If so, you can thank Governor Tom Wolf and members of the state’s legislature, which passed a new state law in October allowing Pennsylvania residents access to fireworks that were previously forbidden to in-state residents. The broadened list of fireworks that state residents are permitted to purchase and set off are sold with a 12 percent tax that will support the state’s emergency services. The tax is expected to provide the state with an additional $9 million in revenue. Many residents are concerned that the additional money in the state’s coffers will be offset by the number of residents who suffer personal injuries.

The state previously only permitted out-of-state customers to purchase fireworks such as bottle rockets and other devices that are fired into the air, while state residents were only able to purchase sparklers and items that were affixed to the ground. Fireworks sellers operated by using separate areas of the store for in-state and out-of-state customers, but that is now a thing of the past. It is still illegal for display-grade fireworks including M-80s, M-100s cherry bombs and quarter and half sticks to be sold to consumers.

The state of Pennsylvania is far from alone in changing their laws regarding fireworks sales. There has been a dramatic growth in sales of the explosive items over the last 18 years, as more and more states have jumped on the bandwagon to add fireworks’ sales taxes to their budgets.

The state still has certain laws on the books that are meant to prevent injury, though it is uncertain what impact those laws actually have on consumers. The state restricts sales to those who are 18 and older and requires that anybody shooting off fireworks has permission from the owner of the property on which they are being fired. It is illegal to light fireworks inside of a building or a motor vehicle, as well as within 150 feet of an occupied structure.

As more and more people are able to purchase these explosives, it is expected that there will be a higher number of personal injuries resulting from negligence. If you or someone you love was injured by fireworks, contact our office today to set up a time to discuss your rights.