Celebrating Independence Day


Here’s a handy guide to the Fireworks laws of the 50 states.  Pennsylvania’s fireworks laws are strange because we don’t regulate possession or use, only sale. You can sell fireworks if you have a license to do so, but you can’t sell fireworks, other than the kid’s stuff, to a resident of Pennsylvania. There are a lot of fireworks stores on the Pennsylvania side of the river that specialize in selling fireworks to New Jersey residents, who, of course, ignore their state’s draconian fireworks ban. Buy too much in New Jersey, and it’s possession with intent to sell, and it’s a felony. People have been busted for it. Otherwise possession or use is a petty offense, basically just a fine. New Jersey authorities don’t like you celebrating freedom, comrade.

As Glenn Reynolds noted, fireworks bans “were the entering wedge of nannyism.” Of course, since our federal overlords banned the really fun stuff, I’m not sure how much of this matters anymore.

4 thoughts on “Celebrating Independence Day”

  1. Lots of terrible local laws on fireworks. They’re entirely “banned” here, which of course doesn’t stop anyone.

  2. Pretty much everything is banned in Colorado but the annual trip to Wyoming is such an established tradition that the laws are generally ignored. Set a nice precedent for the gun laws, no?

    Billlls Freedom index would be the number of non-municipal explosions occurring in my own neighborhood. The number seemed to be a bit higher this year than last.

  3. Around ’61, a friend’s older brother had some powerful firecrackers. IIRC, they were supposed to be the equivalent of a 1/4 stick of dynamite. He tossed one into a VERY large Oak tree, and blew off at least 2/3rds of the leaves.

    He had some motorized models of the Monitor and Merrimac floating in the creek, that he bombed with these. Huge waterspouts. Overkill, as you could have easily sunk rowboats, or bigger, with them. Ridley Creek(?), in Ridley Park.

    Our whole street was condemned for an access road to I-95, after we moved to AZ. The fire dept use the houses for training, IIRC. Took a younger sister and some others down to look at the old homestead in ’68, before they got to the end of the street. The picture window was still good! My sister corrected that oversight with some rocks…

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