4th Of July Fireworks Law Reminder

Fireworks

With the Fourth just a few days away, here is some guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Justice on fireworks rules and regulations.

fireworks-advisory-2014

A few highlights:

“State law allows the sale, possession and use, without a permit, of sparklers not
exceeding 36 inches in length, stationary cones and fountains, toy snakes, smoke
bombs, caps, noisemakers, confetti poppers with less than ¼ grain of explosive mixture,
and novelty devices that spin or move on the ground. Wis. Stat. § 167.10(1). There is
no age restriction on sale, possession or use of these devices and the statute does not
classify them as fireworks.”

That’s right, my three year old can cytotec online buy!

“Possessing or using any other fireworks, including, for example, firecrackers, roman
candles, bottle rockets and mortars, in Wisconsin without a valid permit is illegal. Wis.
Stat. § 167.10(3). A commonly used rule of thumb is that a permit is required if the
device explodes or leaves the ground. The sale of these restricted fireworks to a
resident of this state without a valid permit is also illegal. Wis. Stat. § 167.10(2).”

Penalties
“A person who possesses or uses fireworks without a valid permit, or who sells fireworks
to a person who does not have a valid permit, is subject to a forfeiture of up to $1,000
per violation. Wis. Stat. § 167.10(9)(b). Each firework illegally possessed, used or sold
may be a separate violation.
A parent or guardian who allows a minor to possess or use fireworks (not including
those for which no permits are required) is subject to a forfeiture of up to $1,000 per
violation. Wis. Stat. § 167.10(9)(c).
A city, village or town may obtain an injunction prohibiting a person from violating Wis.
Stat. § 167.10(8)(a). Violations of such an injunction are criminal misdemeanors, subject
to up to 9 months in jail and a $10,000 fine. Wis. Stat. § 167.10(9)(a).”

Before you stop at a roadside stand and then hand all those “under the table” goodies over to your teenager, keep in mind the potential fine is $1,000 for them and $1,000 for you!  I have seen some of those roadside stands authorized by the local town/village to issue permits so that shoppers can obtain their permit for “fireworks,” buy,  and use them legally.  The linked document above sets out the permitting requirements in more detail.

Enjoy, and be safe!

Johanna R Kirk