Fireworks Laws By State 2020

Fireworks shows can be fun to watch, especially when there is a big, city-wide spectacular on the Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve. However, if you enjoy fireworks, you may have noticed that the ones you can buy at a roadside stand are not nearly as impressive as the ones that are used in professional shows. One reason why is because different states have different laws regarding fireworks, especially in which fireworks are available to consumers (as opposed to professionals, such as the ones who mastermind those big displays for the public).

Today, consumer fireworks are legal for purchase in 46 states and Washington, DC. Ohio, Vermont, and Illinois only allow the purchase of sparklers and other novelty-type fireworks, and Massachusetts does not permit the sale of fireworks at all. Critics of these fireworks bans look at how easily people can cross state lines to buy fireworks, especially in the small state of Massachusetts. They also look at how much safety regulations on fireworks have increased over the past few decades, so promoting good education regarding fireworks may be more effective at preventing injuries than banning them altogether.

Consumer fireworks that can be purchased in most states include Roman candles, sparklers, poppers, snakes, helicopters, ground spinners, and multiple tube fireworks. They must have fewer than 50mg of gunpowder and follow some other regulations. Additionally, the fuses on consumer fireworks have to burn for at least three seconds but no more than nine seconds, to help ensure that they do not explode in the face of the person who is lighting them.

If you enjoy using consumer fireworks, make sure that you check with your state’s regulations concerning how you need to use them (unless you live in a state where they are illegal). There are probably regulations regarding how far outside of city limits you have to be and required distance from a body of water. Make sure that you have water nearby that you can use to put out any fire that may erupt. Also, make sure that you carefully read the safety information on the fireworks to prevent injury in case the fireworks malfunction.

Keep in mind that while fireworks can be fun to play with, they are also dangerous and require caution when using them. They are explosives and can cause fires and physical injury; people die every year from fireworks that did not explode correctly. So have fun and be safe!

State 2020 Pop.
Alabama4,908,620
Alaska734,002
Arizona7,378,490
Arkansas3,039,000
California39,937,500
Colorado5,845,530
Connecticut3,563,080
Delaware982,895
District of Columbia720,687
Florida21,993,000
Georgia10,736,100
Hawaii1,412,690
Idaho1,826,160
Illinois12,659,700
Indiana6,745,350
Iowa3,179,850
Kansas2,910,360
Kentucky4,499,690
Louisiana4,645,180
Maine1,345,790
Maryland6,083,120
Massachusetts6,976,600
Michigan10,045,000
Minnesota5,700,670
Mississippi2,989,260
Missouri6,169,270
Montana1,086,760
Nebraska1,952,570
Nevada3,139,660
New Hampshire1,371,250
New Jersey8,936,570
New Mexico2,096,640
New York19,440,500
North Carolina10,611,900
North Dakota761,723
Ohio11,747,700
Oklahoma3,954,820
Oregon4,301,090
Pennsylvania12,820,900
Rhode Island1,056,160
South Carolina5,210,100
South Dakota903,027
Tennessee6,897,580
Texas29,472,300
Utah3,282,120
Vermont628,061
Virginia8,626,210
Washington7,797,100
West Virginia1,778,070
Wisconsin5,851,750
Wyoming567,025