Pennsylvania Passes a Bill Expanding the Legalities of Fireworks

Just in time for the biggest firework holiday of the year, (July 4th), Pensylvania lawmakers passed House Bill 452. Houe Bill 452 expands the class of fireworks to include larger, aerial fireworks, which were illegal prior to the new bill. Bill 452 was officially passed on October 30, 2017, and was passed with the intention of repealing and replacing the Fireworks Act of 1939.

What are the Different Types of Fireworks?

The Department of Agriulture spokesman, Will Nichols, broke fireworks down into three different categories. The first category is ‘pop’. The pop category contains small fireworks, like sparklers. The next category is called ‘bang’. The bang category gets a little more serious as they are still floor fireworks, but they are more like fountains that spray upward without leaving the ground. In this category, you will see floor fireworks that may shoot up, but do not get a lot of height. The ‘boom’ category is for the fireworks that were made legal in October. In the boom category, you have larger aerial fireworks like bottle rockets, roman candles, and mortars (500 mg of explosive material).

What are the Restrictions of Purchasing Fireworks?

Upon entering a firework store, you will be asked to show ID and sign a waiver that you will comply with the local rules of your town or state. In addition, you must be 18 years of age or older to purchase fireworks.

Why is Pennsylvania Passing the New Bill?

Well, as much as they want the residents of Pennsylvania to enjoy the nation’s birthday, that may not be the entire reason for passing the new bill. Pennsylvania lawmakers plan to use the sale of fireworks to fix budget issues the state is having. The state plans to place a six percent tax on the fireworks, but they won’t stop there, as they plan to place an additional 12 percent fireworks tax on the explosives. According to the Associated Press, the state House predicts that this new law will generate greater than $9 million each year.