Which Fireworks are Legal, and Illegal, in New York State?
As we get into summer in the Capital Region, odds are, you'll be attending an outdoor gathering or two before the warm weather comes to an end.
Those are some of the best times of the year; swimming in pools, playing lawn games with friends and having cookouts with the neighbors are some of the things that we missed out on due to COVID-19, but now, are fully able to take part in.
Naturally, on a warm summer night, you may be tempted to end the evening with a "bang", so to speak, and light off a few fireworks to celebrate...well, anything really.
Just know, there are some laws statewide and locally that you should know, that will help you avoid ending the evening with a police officer on your front steps.
These are New York State's Current Laws on Fireworks
New York state law separates the types of fireworks that are legal, and illegal, into two very cut-and-dry lists. These lists are sorted by size of the firework, as well as the location you set them off from.
Allow me to clarify. Here are the fireworks that are legal in New York, according to an article from Spectrum News on the topic:
- ground-based fireworks that emit showers of sparks
- handheld wood sparklers
- party poppers
Meanwhile, here is what Spectrum lists as illegal fireworks in NY:
- aerial consumer fireworks
- roman candles
- metal wire sparklers
So, these are the guidelines that you'll have to follow as we get into the summer months. As Spectrum also explains, if you're caught using illegal fireworks, you would likely be charge with disorderly conduct and-or reckless endangerment, which is a felony.
So, What About Sparklers? What Should We Know About Those?
Sparklers, or sparkling devices as more professional sources have referred to them as, are a bit more complicated. As it turns out, sparklers can be outlawed by county, and there is a list of certain counties that have banned these handheld fireworks from being used.
According to The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway, the counties that have banned the use of sparkling devices are: Albany, Bronx, Columbia, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange (in the Cities of Middletown and Newburgh), Queens, Richmond, Schenectady, Suffolk and Westchester.
So, as always, the goal of parties and gatherings is to have a great time, and make memories with good people. That said, this bit of information is important to keep in mind, in order to make sure the night ends as fun as it began.