New York State Fireworks Law
I was pretty surprised the other day when I went to my mailbox and found a catalog from a fireworks company in Florida. I never requested anything from the company, and I live in New York where the type of fireworks the catalog was advertising are illegal.
New Yorkers were excited when it was announced late in 2014 that for the first time in 100 years, laws regarding the sale and use of fireworks in the state had been modified. The change in the law allows for the sale and use of consumer fireworks also called "Sparkling Devices."
In case you need a refresher on which fireworks are legal and which aren't in New York state, and in which New York counties these laws apply, this is everything you need to know:
According to the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the "Sparking Devices" New York State law refers to are considered to be, "ground based or handheld devices that produce a shower of colored sparks and or a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke."
So, no you won't be able to buy any of the bigger fireworks that our neighbors in Pennsylvania can. And get this- depending on which New York county you live in, you might not even be allowed to have "Sparking Devices." What's more is that in New York state, fireworks can only be sold from June 1st through July 5th and then from December 26th through January 2nd.
The counties around the Greater Binghamton area that have legalized the use of sparkling devices are:
Chemung County, Cortland County, Madison County, Schuyler County, Steuben County, Sullivan County, and Tioga County.
Note: Broome, Chenango, Deleware, Otsego and Tompkins counties have NOT legalized fireworks (aka sparkling devices).
If you live or play in one of the counties where fireworks are legal, you're limited to what you can buy and set off. These are the fireworks legal to use in counties listed above where sparkling devices have been made legal (basically they're just the novelty fireworks):
Sparkling fountains, sparklers on wooden sticks, but not metal sticks, smoking devices, snakes, confetti-filled party poppers, paper-wrapped snappers.
These fireworks are illegal to buy and set off in all of New York state unless you belong to an organization or association and have the proper permits (basically illegal is anything that shoots up in the air or sends out a projectile):
Firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, spinners and other aerial fireworks.
No one under the age of 18 is allowed to handle fireworks (aka sparkling devices) in the state of New York, even the legal ones. If you’re caught allowing a person under the age of 18 to handle a firework, you could be charged with a crime. In other words, if you light a sparkler on a wooden stick (which is legal in some counties) and twirl it around and hand it off to your 13-year-old for just a second, you’d be committing a crime.
If you live in the City of Binghamton and set off fireworks, you’re taking a risk. According to City Code, Chapter 229, Firearms and Fireworks, “No person shall fire, discharge or set off or cause or procure to be fired, discharged or set off within the City any cannon, percussion, air or other gun, pistol, squib, rocket, firecracker, gunpowder, fireworks, or any other explosive combustible.
According to Syracuse.com, this is a full and updated list of counties that have made sparkling devices legal in the state of New York.