Sale and use of sparklers may become legal

Fireworks enthusiasts in Montgomery County may soon be able to purchase and use sparklers legally.

Members of the County Legislature’s Education and Government Committee approved a local law that would allow “common, safe items” to be excluded from the list of “dangerous fireworks” as defined by NY State’s penal code. The measure now goes before the entire County Legislature for consideration at its meeting March 24.

In November 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law amending the state penal code to place more restrictions on certain types of fireworks, while at the same time stating that certain other types of fireworks should not be labeled dangerous “when they pose little or no danger to the public” and labeling them as dangerous “only restricts business and personal enjoyment,” according to the resolution.

The county’s proposal sets up several restrictions on the sale of sparklers:

  • Sales will be permitted only from June 1 to July 5 and December 25 to January 2 of any calendar year.
  • All distributors, manufacturers and retailers must be licensed through the Department of State
  • No one under the age of 18 may purchase sparklers.

Under Montgomery County’s newly revised rules of procedure, any resolution coming before the legislature must be accompanied by a statement of legislative and financial impact. According to the statement accompanying this resolution, counties and cities are allowed to “opt in” to the state law regarding fireworks and may do so by passing a local law. The financial impact statement says enacting the local law would “diversify the county’s sales tax base and provide economic benefits to retailers licensed through the Department of State to sell sparking devices.”

John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.