What Happens if You Violate Arizona Fireworks Laws

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Fireworks are a 4th of July tradition that’s as old as the country itself. They’re a stunning part of Independence Day celebrations and Americans of all ages delight in the spectacular light show that commemorates the birth of the USA. Due to the inherent danger of certain types, however, some cities, counties and states have enacted bans or restrictions for public safety. This includes Arizona, where things that go boom could land you in a courtroom. Our Arizona criminal defense lawyers want you to be safe and understand what you can and can’t do to celebrate America’s birthday.

What’s Allowed?

Former Governor Jan Brewer signed SB1158 in April 2014, which required municipalities in Pima and Maricopa counties to allow the sale and use of ground fireworks (on private property) for 4th of July and New Year’s Day celebrations. While novelty items like sparklers, snakes, smoke balls, party poppers and snappers have always been legal, this bill made other types of fireworks permissible on a seasonal basis, including:

  • Cylindrical, square and cone fountains
  • Ground spinners
  • Sparkling wheel devices
  • California rocket-shaped fountains
  • Illuminating torches
  • Flitter sparklers

You can purchase eligible pyrotechnics from any properly permitted facility from May 20 to July 6 for use between June 24 and July 6. You can also purchase them from Dec 10 to Jan 3 for use from Dec 24 to Jan 3. Visit the National Council on Fireworks Safety website for detailed information about handling them safely.

What’s Illegal?

In Arizona, you basically can’t use anything that detonates while airborne or what’s typically referred to as aerials. Illegal pyrotechnics in Arizona include:

  • Sky Rockets
  • Bottle Rockets
  • Roman Candles
  • Firecrackers
  • Reloadable Shell Devices
  • Single Tube Devices

The Consumer Product Safety Commission requires legal consumer fireworks to include an easy-to-read cautionary label with instructions for proper use. If you purchase unlabeled fireworks, they’re probably illegal. Devices such M80s, M100s and silver salutes have been federally banned since 1966, due to the large amount of illegal explosives in them.

What Are the Consequences for Illegal Fireworks?

Any person 16 years or older can buy legally permitted fireworks; but being able to buy fireworks doesn’t mean you can actually use them. Although cities and counties can’t prohibit the sale of fireworks, they can prohibit or restrict their use.

Municipalities can ban use on public property, but not private property. If you’re caught using illegal fireworks on public property or using fireworks in violation of your local city’s code, you could face a Class 1 Misdemeanor and civil penalties. These penalties can range from $150 to $1,000, depending on the violation. However, it’s a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 for using them on state land or preservation land within a city.

Hire a Top Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Lerner and Rowe Law Group wants everyone to have a safe holiday; however, if you find yourself arrested for DUI or charged with possessing illegal pyrotechnics – we can help. So, contact the experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyers at the Lerner & Rowe Law Group for a FREE consultation. We also offer affordable payment plans and our team of award-winning criminal defense attorneys are available 24/7 to take your call at 602-667-7777.