Despite New Laws, Many Fireworks Still Illegal to Use in Philadelphia

PHL17 Morning News
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PHILADELPHIA, PA - Pennsylvania residents are now able to purchase consumer-grade explosive fireworks, but Philadelphia Police still say using the fireworks within city limits is still illegal.  That means shooting bottle rockets and Roman candles this 4th of July will need to be done outside the city.

Deputy Commissioner of Philadelphia Police Dennis Wilson said, “Yeah there’s been a misconception here about the M-series fireworks that they are legal. They have been a problem this year. They’re definitely illegal and you will be arrested for selling, possessing or using that series of fireworks.”

Sergeant Eric Gripp added, “While you might be able to legally purchase these new class of fireworks, you can still not utilize them in the city of Philadelphia.”


According to the Philadelphia Police Dept.'s website:

Q: Can I use fireworks in Pennsylvania?

A: State law prohibits the use of Consumer and Display Fireworks in Pennsylvania without a permit.

Items defined as “ground and hand-held sparkling devices”, “novelties” and “toy caps” in American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) Standard 87-1 are not currently regulated by State Law; therefore, their sale and use is allowed. These “non-fireworks” are the only types allowed to be sold from tents, stands, convenience stores, retail establishments and other various outlets not licensed by the Department of Agriculture. In other words, if it doesn’t leave the ground or make a “bang” –  it’s probably legal.

(Title 35, Chapter 13A, Sections 1271 & 1275)