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JackieLikesVariety
07-02-2012, 07:02 PM
when I was growing up it was all illegal: sparklers, firecrackers, all of it. people went to their city's firework display, it went on ONE night and that it was it.

now, everywhere I've lived in the last 10 years people can buy all sorts of fireworks and set them off for 10 days or so. I load up on Valium for my dog and forget trying to get enough sleep.

is there anywhere they remain largely something you go to for one night - rather than this on-going spend fest for everyone? damn, the money involved - that would keep me up nights if the noise didn't.

Odesio
07-02-2012, 07:08 PM
When I lived in Plano, Texas you couldn't purchase fireworks within city limits nor could you set them off. This didn't stop people from setting off a few fireworks though. Here in Little Rock you can purchase fireworks but it is illegal to set them off. We're in a drought right now and all by 2-3 counties are under a burn ban. Apparently fireworks vendors are not selling much product this year so I hope a lot of people have realized that dry conditions plus fireworks equals bad news.

JackieLikesVariety
07-02-2012, 07:11 PM
the Nebraska panhandle is like Wyoming - almost anything goes. stupid, since we are also in a drought.

I used to like fireworks - they are beautiful! - until I got a dog that is afraid. he suffers so much, I now hate them. my vet tells me many, many pets suffer through this.

Morgenstern
07-02-2012, 07:17 PM
San Diego County, California does not allow fireworks, except for shows by professional firework companies.

SpoilerVirgin
07-02-2012, 07:30 PM
Here is a map (http://www.fireworksafety.com/laws.htm) showing state fireworks laws. Fireworks are illegal in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Fireworks are illegal in San Francisco, but that doesn't stop people from setting them off illegally.

Loach
07-02-2012, 07:31 PM
Fireworks are illegal in New Jersey. The extent that it is enforced varies greatly.

JackieLikesVariety
07-02-2012, 07:32 PM
San Diego County, California does not allow fireworks, except for shows by professional firework companies.

that seems like the smart way to go, IMO. people get a good, professional show, from people who understand safety. it's ONE night - July 4 - and that's IT.

HeyHomie
07-02-2012, 07:34 PM
They're de facto illegal in Illinois. Under state law you need to have a permit, but in reality nobody issues permits.

JackieLikesVariety
07-02-2012, 07:41 PM
Fireworks are illegal in New Jersey. The extent that it is enforced varies greatly.

is enforcement pretty much urban? the more rural you are, the more you can get away with?

Musicat
07-02-2012, 07:41 PM
Our Fire Chief says that any fireworks that leave the ground or explode are illegal to use. Not to sell, just to use. So snakes or sparklers are OK, bottle rockets or firecrackers are not.

You can get permits for shows, but the training and regulations required prohibits all but the serious.

Loach
07-02-2012, 07:45 PM
is enforcement pretty much urban? the more rural you are, the more you can get away with?

Pretty much. They are legal to purchase in Pennsylvania but illegal to transport to New Jersey. But that makes them easy to get. Some pretty big stores right across the river. There are just way too many fireworks calls around the 4th to drag them all in. Mostly its "knock it off your neighbors are complaining".

I happen to love fireworks.

bouv
07-02-2012, 07:46 PM
Here is a map (http://www.fireworksafety.com/laws.htm) showing state fireworks laws. Fireworks are illegal in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Yeah, but plenty of places (like where I live, VT) only allow "novelty" fireworks, like sparklers and snakes.

Of course, with NH being so close and selling a wide-array of fireworks, they're still pretty common to see.

VOW
07-02-2012, 07:55 PM
I've seen people get busted for illegal Mexican fireworks in SCal.

The "safe and sane" fireworks are illegal in Riverside County, California. They SHOULD be illegal in San Bernardino County, as well, but there are manufacturers in that county (one factory had a fire on-site many years ago--BOY was that an event!) and also many non-profit organizations which depend on the sales of the fireworks for a large portion of their yearly budget.


~VOW

JackieLikesVariety
07-02-2012, 07:59 PM
I happen to love fireworks.

I used to & still would if they weren't going off all around my house for 10 days. it's too much.

plus, they ought to be pretty and in the dark. not just bang bang bang all afternoon long.

don't know when I got to be such an old crock. :mad:

lazybratsche
07-02-2012, 08:00 PM
OTOH, in some states purchasing and possessing fireworks is legal. Setting them off is not. But it isn't really enforced... if you have something that can be spotted from miles away, or your neighbors call in a noise complaint, the police will come and say "knock it off". At least in my experience...

Here in RI, I've spotted fireworks for sale in a half a dozen roadside tents, as well as the local wally world. And all on main roads within mile of state and local police offices.

bouv
07-02-2012, 08:05 PM
Huh...just did some searching, and they must have loosened the laws here a bit, because there are three REAL fireworks stores in VT now. However, their website has this caveat:
In Vermont, you need a permit to legally shoot and possess fireworks. While we do not need to see the permit when you visit our stores, we strongly recommend that you check with your local fire department or town officials and apply for the permits required in your area.

So you need a permit, but no one is going to check it...pretty much just a "wink wink, nudge nudge" type of thing.

ChockFullOfHeadyGoodness
07-02-2012, 08:09 PM
Anything that explodes or flies had been illegal in all of California for as long as I can remember, but people always manage to get a hold of them, usually via Tijuana or the Indian reservations outside of Las Vegas. In Los Angeles County, Safe-and-sane regulations vary from city to city. My town and the immediate neighboring towns banned them back in the 1980s, but I can get some in two towns about 6 miles away. I live near a park and an elementary school, and we've been hearing/seeing stuff for the past week. Unfortunately, a lot of the local cities have canceled this year's fireworks shows for budget reasons (our city said between paying for the show, the additional police presence, crowd control, traffic control, etc. the show ran about $130,000, which we just don't have anymore), so there's been an uptick in the do-it-yourselfers. PLus the 4th is on a Wednesday this year, so a lot of people are staying home. My dog is going crazy.
So while they are completely illegal in my neck of the woods, enforcement is pretty non-existent.

Saint Cad
07-02-2012, 08:37 PM
All of Colorado for this year. Turn on the news to know why.

Lukeinva
07-02-2012, 09:07 PM
Sparklers are allowed in Fairfax county Virginia, as well as fountains and such that are all at ground level, i.e. no rockets. Other counties may have different restrictions; (I think fireworks of any kind are not allowed in Alexandria).

Pixel_Dent
07-02-2012, 09:36 PM
In Florida most fireworks are illegal... unless you're using them for "Agricultural Purposes." So as you're checking out at the fireworks superstore with enough mortars to put Disney to shame you have to sign a form saying you're going to use them to scare birds away from your garden.

InternetLegend
07-02-2012, 10:29 PM
In New Mexico, cities and counties can impose restrictions on fireworks, but the state doesn't have the power to ban them (http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S2666198.shtml). The legislation to do so was introduced but didn't pass - probably because the fireworks sellers have more political clout than the people who would like their houses and forests not to burn down.

Albuquerque and Bernalillo County restrict fireworks to ground only, but people can go out to other counties or to the Indian pueblos where their sale is legal (http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S2666406.shtml?cat=504) and bring them back in. If you get caught lighting aerial fireworks, you can be fined up to $1000.00, and in these drought years, the fire department will come out and they will cite you. And if you're in my neighborhood, I'll call them and rat on you, because I don't like staying up all night with the hose at ready for when some idiot's bottle rocket lands in my bushes.

johnpost
07-02-2012, 10:38 PM
more than 1/2 to about 2/3s of the 48 states of the USA are under drought conditions. where there isn't drought things are dry, except for recent storms to the east. fires get started from such small sources as bullets hitting rocks and dozens of other causes.

Pixel_Dent
07-03-2012, 07:02 AM
more than 1/2 to about 2/3s of the 48 states of the USA are under drought conditions. where there isn't drought things are dry, except for recent storms to the east. fires get started from such small sources as bullets hitting rocks and dozens of other causes.

Over 25% of the US isn't dry right now, according to the NOAA and USDA. In Florida, for example, they are so far above their average rainfall this year that some lakes that have been dry for years are filling back up. Abandoned docks on other lakes which had been left behind by receding waterlines are back in use.

That being said you're correct that around 50% are in drought conditions and another 20% is considered dry. Always smart to check local conditions before lighting a fuse.

CalMeacham
07-03-2012, 07:15 AM
I found the OPs statement odd. Having lived most of my life in the Northeast, fireworks have always been banned (I hadn't noticed that many were legal in Utah when I lived there). Here's a map showing where fireworks are at least partly legal (blue) and illegal (red). They're red most of the places I lived.

http://www.americanpyro.com/pdf/2012StateLawsFireworkMap.pdf

I always found it odd that fireworks were illegal in NJ, when they manufactured them in Vineland, NJ. Massachusetts police keep an eye on people going across the border to places like Hampton Beach, NH to see who's buying fireworks there, then stop them as they cross the border back into Massachusetts (Moral: park your car somewhere else than the fireworks store, and don't come directly back across the border if you want to avoid problems)


Nevertheless, everywhere I've lived, people have set off fireworks, and not just on the Fourth. On the Fourth, however, our neighborhood sounds like a war zone, and the cats hide.

gotpasswords
07-03-2012, 07:44 AM
Anything that explodes or flies had been illegal in all of California for as long as I can remember, but people always manage to get a hold of them, usually via Tijuana or the Indian reservations outside of Las Vegas.
Some friends of ours in CA were able to get their hands on absurd quantities of fireworks every year. Not sure where they come from and I was not about to ask. I do remember one year, seeing a stack of boxes in their garage with orange 1.3 Explosive placards on them in April and joking with them about getting a head start.

Here, we can buy fireworks at the grocery store.

Loach
07-03-2012, 08:03 AM
Huh...just did some searching, and they must have loosened the laws here a bit, because there are three REAL fireworks stores in VT now. However, their website has this caveat:


So you need a permit, but no one is going to check it...pretty much just a "wink wink, nudge nudge" type of thing.

How about the law in Pennsylvania? It's illegal for PA residents to purchase most fireworks without a permit. In PA stores they must make you show out of state ID and fill out a form stating that you will not transport the items to a state that it is illegal to possess. But the stores are right on the New Jersey border and they sell mostly to New Jersey residents.

AncientHumanoid
07-03-2012, 08:09 AM
Signs posted* at OKC, OK city limits cite an ordinance that fireworks are illegal in the city. Often a fireworks stand is erected right outside the city limit, with an in plain site police car stationed just inside the sign's invisible boundary. Doofuses get tickets (and fireworks confiscated) all the time. It's like they have dumbglasses on or something. In surrounding counties, there are some permanent fireworks stores, but I have no idea how often they're open.

* not on every road, tho. And I have not bothered to notice if the signs stay up or are temp.


.

MsBatt
07-03-2012, 08:11 AM
I wish they were illegal here. Things are so dry that my grass crunches underfoot---but I have no doubt the neighbor's bratty kids will set off hundreds of dollars worth of firecrackers over the next several days. Unless, of course, they set their own yard afire.

Bridget Burke
07-03-2012, 08:16 AM
All of Colorado for this year. Turn on the news to know why.

Last year, Texas had a state-wide ban on "private" fireworks because of our drought. (Some professional displays took place--with firetrucks at the ready.) Not this year.

State law prohibits rockets. Local governments--like the City of Houston--can prohibit everything non-professional. Not that I won't hear some pops tomorrow night--but that might just be gunfire!

dracoi
07-03-2012, 08:25 AM
Here in WA, most of the cities seem to have bans, but most of the counties do not. Therefore, we have the party out here in the burbs. I think it's a good thing.

And as far as drought conditions go... We'll just be glad for a break in the freaking rain over here.

Silver Tyger
07-03-2012, 10:23 AM
In Ventura county, California laws vary. Supposedly they're illegal just about everywhere but Fillmore - who makes a TON of money selling them to everyone. When I was living with my parents - where just about everything is illegal - you could see people shooting them off for days. Sometimes you could basically watch a fireworks show before the official one started. And it'd last for at least a week afterwards.

kayaker
07-03-2012, 10:36 AM
Every coupla years I drive from PA to Ohio to purchase my supply. After leaving Phantom Fireworks (http://www.fireworks.com/) I always am a tad nervous, so I drive away from PA for an exit then get off, have lunch, then head home.

Kimballkid
07-03-2012, 10:46 AM
Not only can we set off anything and everything (subject to local ordinances of course) we also added another season between Christmas and New Years.

Shosy
07-03-2012, 10:52 AM
I remember our 8th grade school trip to a city out of state where small (sparklers, sky rockets, firecrackers) were legal. We could say that we gave that city an economic boost.

Small fireworks, used with some common sense, are pretty harmless, as long as you don't use them on red flag days, shoot them at houses, etc. As usual a few morons screw it up for everyone else.

Non-red signaling flares (can't use red for obvious reasons) have become pretty common, and I see a lot of people using white parachute flares for fun these days. Just make sure your shotgun doesn't have a choke...

kenobi 65
07-03-2012, 11:04 AM
They're de facto illegal in Illinois. Under state law you need to have a permit, but in reality nobody issues permits.

Nonetheless, this has never stopped my white-trash neighbors from heading to Indiana every June, filling their car trunks with fireworks at any of the fireworks stores just over the border, and then spending about a week around the 4th setting off endless sets of fireworks, deep into the night. Hates them, we do. :)

UltraVires
07-03-2012, 11:55 AM
How about the law in Pennsylvania? It's illegal for PA residents to purchase most fireworks without a permit. In PA stores they must make you show out of state ID and fill out a form stating that you will not transport the items to a state that it is illegal to possess. But the stores are right on the New Jersey border and they sell mostly to New Jersey residents.

Ohio does exactly the same thing except that they will sell to Ohio residents. You must sign a form stating that you will take the fireworks out of the state of Ohio within 72 hours.

UltraVires
07-03-2012, 11:56 AM
I wish they were illegal here. Things are so dry that my grass crunches underfoot---but I have no doubt the neighbor's bratty kids will set off hundreds of dollars worth of firecrackers over the next several days. Unless, of course, they set their own yard afire.

I don't think it matters. They are illegal in WV, except for "safe and sane" fireworks, but anywhere you go this week will sound like a war zone. The law simply is not enforced.

BlinkingDuck
07-03-2012, 12:08 PM
When I was growing up in ND, they would be legal to buy but illegal to set off.

They wouldn't just outlaw them because, well I don't know. So what they would do is a day or 2 before the fourth of July Outlaw them for this year "because of the dry conditions"...EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

I'm positive there was some kickbacks/bribes going on.

VOW
07-03-2012, 01:47 PM
Regarding purchases made in legal areas and transported to illegal areas:

I remember reading a newspaper article about the "illegal in California" fireworks for sale in Nevada. Most of the area around the State line between Nevada and California is unobstructed desert. Sometimes the cops in California position themselves in a great vista point overlooking fireworks stores located just over the State line in Nevada. They watch California residents make their purchases and as soon as they cross back into California, POUNCE!


~VOW

Knorf
07-03-2012, 01:58 PM
Most of the area around the State line between Nevada and California is unobstructed desert.
This isn't true at all. Most of the state line between NV and CA is in the Sierra Nevada. For example, the state line passes right through Lake Tahoe. There is some desert, but it is mountainous desert except for close to Las Vegas.

Also, I am skeptical about your anecdote. Maybe it's a county-by-county thing, but growing up in Reno, anything outside of sparklers was prohibited. The big stands you can buy explosives from where I live now I never, ever saw anywhere in NV.

Edit: Ok, I checked and it is county-by-county. But fireworks except for sparklers and such appear to be illegal in the most populated counties.

VOW
07-03-2012, 02:06 PM
To Knorf:

My info was a newspaper article in the San Bernardino County (CA) paper.


~VOW

Voyager
07-03-2012, 03:23 PM
Here is a map (http://www.fireworksafety.com/laws.htm) showing state fireworks laws. Fireworks are illegal in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Fireworks are illegal in San Francisco, but that doesn't stop people from setting them off illegally.

In the Bay Area they are legal on a city by city basis, They are illegal in Fremont, but legal in Newark, which I can walk to from my house. And every Fourth the police in Fremont say there were hardly any violations, which, judging from what I hear, means they are either deaf or sleeping very soundly.

They were illegal in New York 50 years ago, but that never stopped people from getting them from out of state.

gatorslap
07-04-2012, 01:39 AM
I got a letter from the Oakland Police Department about how all fireworks of any kind are illegal in Oakland and they intend to strictly enforce it. Specifically, they have a seismic detection system that can detect the precise location of not only gunshots but also fireworks, which "sends direct notification to patrol officers' cars within seconds of the incident."

...I have been hearing large amounts of fireworks every night for a solid month. Thanks, OPD.

Musicat
07-04-2012, 07:13 AM
I got a letter from the Oakland Police Department about how all fireworks of any kind are illegal in Oakland and they intend to strictly enforce it. Specifically, they have a seismic detection system that can detect the precise location of not only gunshots but also fireworks, which "sends direct notification to patrol officers' cars within seconds of the incident."The Oakland Police Department must have more cars than people if they intend to respond to every cap pistol and firecracker that goes off on the 4th.

FoieGrasIsEvil
07-04-2012, 07:54 AM
I got a letter from the Oakland Police Department about how all fireworks of any kind are illegal in Oakland and they intend to strictly enforce it. Specifically, they have a seismic detection system that can detect the precise location of not only gunshots but also fireworks, which "sends direct notification to patrol officers' cars within seconds of the incident."

...I have been hearing large amounts of fireworks every night for a solid month. Thanks, OPD.

"Seismic detection system"? Is that even real? I mean...I know we have means of detecting seismic activity for volcanoes, earthquakes and such...but for fireworks? This is pinging my bullshit radar.

CalMeacham
07-04-2012, 07:54 AM
Regarding purchases made in legal areas and transported to illegal areas:

I remember reading a newspaper article about the "illegal in California" fireworks for sale in Nevada. Most of the area around the State line between Nevada and California is unobstructed desert. Sometimes the cops in California position themselves in a great vista point overlooking fireworks stores located just over the State line in Nevada. They watch California residents make their purchases and as soon as they cross back into California, POUNCE!


~VOW

Much as I write about MA police watching the NH Fireworks stores, ex cept that it sounds as if Ca police might have an easier time of it in some areas. I'm not skeptical about the story (you hear about it frequently on the news about MA/NH) but only about its general applicability (I know of areas along the CA/NV border that wouldn't be so easy to police)

DCnDC
07-04-2012, 08:04 AM
Technically, in DC any fireworks that "explode" are illegal, but in practice, the police don't really give a shit. We go out to the middle of the nearby circle on the 4th and set off all sorts of large aerial fireworks, and the police just drive by, and if they stop it's just to watch.

gotpasswords
07-04-2012, 10:08 AM
"Seismic detection system"? Is that even real? I mean...I know we have means of detecting seismic activity for volcanoes, earthquakes and such...but for fireworks? This is pinging my bullshit radar.
It's really a gunshot detection system with microphones throughout the city. Not seismic at all. I think the specific system Oakland is using is called ShotSpotter. When the sensors pick up noises with the acoustic signature of shooting, they triangulate the area.

installLSC
07-04-2012, 01:55 PM
Here in WA, most of the cities seem to have bans, but most of the counties do not.
It is illegal to sell or posess firecrackers or aerial fireworks (bottle rockets, roman candles, etc.) in the State of Washington, unless you are on tribal land. Which of course all the Indian reservations have fireworks stands selling everything under the sun. One around here even has the gall to call itself "Ill Eagle Fireworks". My mom lives on reservation land and she's heard fireworks go off every night since May.

gatorslap
07-04-2012, 09:58 PM
"Seismic detection system"? Is that even real? I mean...I know we have means of detecting seismic activity for volcanoes, earthquakes and such...but for fireworks? This is pinging my bullshit radar.

Sorry, I should not have used the word "seismic". The system was invented by a seismologist and I remember seeing news reports about how he adapted technologies used in seismology, but it's not seismology itself.

GameHat
07-04-2012, 11:18 PM
Where does the OP live?

Fireworks were mostly illegal when I was growing up in Wisconsin (1980s - 1990s). Sparklers, snakes and snappers were OK, but we always had to rely on the relatives from Tennessee to get things like bottle-rockets, fire-crackers and roman candles. And IIRC, they couldn't even get bigger "explosives". Dunno how it is today. I still hear (and am currently hearing, today, July 4) lots of fire-crackers, but I just kinda assume that's because I live in a place that's heavily immigrant, from a place I assume fun fireworks are mostly unregulated (Mexico).

Fubaya
07-05-2012, 12:46 AM
I would assume it's illegal in most city limits but legal in many counties. Fireworks, firing guns, burning things are all illegal in my city of 25,000, but step outside the city limits and do all three at once if you want.

I'm inside the limits but people in the neighborhood do set off fireworks on every occasion they can think of and no one has gotten in any trouble because we're in the 'burbs and there's plenty of space. But due to drought conditions, the cops were patrolling the neighborhood at 8pm and telling anyone outside that they'd be writing tickets for fireworks. Then it got dark and they were so busy responding to fireworks calls (including some that started a brush fire) that someone down the block had time to put on a pretty good show and not get caught.

JackieLikesVariety
07-05-2012, 07:28 AM
I live in the Nebraska Panhandle. so, Wyoming in all but name. ;)

sounds like it wouldn't matter if they were illegal here, since folks just set them off anyway.

I was just wondering if anywhere was like where & when I grew up. in town, you basically had the official fireworks and that was it.

boytyperanma
07-05-2012, 08:47 PM
Fireworks are completely illegal in MA. We aren't allowed anything fun. However enforcement varies. I know plenty of people that are comfortable setting them off in their own yards and never have issue. The police in general have better things to do and won't bother unless they have complaints.

The state police do pay attention to the NH border and will pull people over they suspect of purchasing fireworks in NH and taking them into MA. NH stores will not sell to people if they are aware they are from out of state, but they don't check ID either so it isn't much of a challenge to purchase them.

Dan Turk
07-06-2012, 12:07 AM
Look into a thundershirt for your dog.

Diceman
07-06-2012, 12:03 PM
Michigan just relaxed its fireworks laws. Formerly, they only allowed lame-ass "safe and sane" fireworks like sparkelers, but now you can buy a much wider array of stuff.

Sister Vigilante
07-06-2012, 10:14 PM
Fireworks are illegal where I live. But we can go to any border and get them easily, and some of the safer ones are available in the stores here. They are good enough for us.

Thundershirt doesn't work on our dog. But he looks cute in it.

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