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New Pennsylvania Fireworks Law in Effect for Fourth of July

“Safe and sane” fireworks at Love Saves the Day in New Hope.

For the first time in 79 years, Pennsylvania residents can shoot off aerial fireworks, like bottle rockets, in their back yard.

Previously, state residents could buy tame items like sparklers, snakes, snaps and fountains, but only customers with an out-of-state ID could purchase aerial fireworks. Now, Pennsylvania buyers are lining up for bottle rockets, roman candles, firecrackers, mortars, and “cakes.”

But the new-found freedom comes at a price: An additional 12 percent tax on top of the existing 6 percent sales tax which will be held by the state for emergency responders.

Also, be aware that Pa. laws governing the use of fireworks are in effect, in addition to any local ordinances:

  • Consumers can now purchase and use “Class C” or “consumer-grade” fireworks that include firecrackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets, and similar fireworks that contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosive material.
  • “Display fireworks,” which are classified as including salutes that contain more than two grains or 130 milligrams of explosive materials, and professional-grade aerial shells containing more than 60 grams of pyrotechnic compositions, are still only to be used by professionals with a permit from the municipality where the display will take place.
  • Anyone 18 years of age or older can purchase them.
  • They cannot be ignited or discharged on a public or private property without express permission of the property owner.
  • They cannot be discharged from or within a motor vehicle or building.
  • They cannot be discharged toward a motor vehicle or building.
  • They cannot be discharged within 150 feet of an occupied structure.
  • They cannot be discharged while the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or another drug.



About the author

Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein

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