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The United States and Airborne Fireworks

            The legality of airborne fireworks is becoming more and more of a controversial issue. In order to understand the issue it is important to take a look at the background of fireworks in Pennsylvania and across the nation. Who does not love fireworks? Airborne fireworks have become tremendously popular for obvious reasons; they are awesome. However, there is a big problem with this method of entertainment. The use of fireworks is strictly against the law in Pennsylvania and many other states. Pennsylvania does allow a very limited selection of "fireworks" that do not leave the ground such as sparklers and fountains. It is against the law to use what are called consumer grade fireworks. Consumer grade are the intermediate grade between novelty and commercial grade. Consumer grade fireworks have a legitimate boom and large displays in the sky, but they are packaged small, easy to use, and a reasonably priced. In order for fireworks to be labeled "consumer grade" they are tested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and if the fireworks meet the set criteria they are allowed to be sold as consumer grade. These fireworks are available to the public in the select states that allow consumer grade to be sold. The majority of states prohibit the sale of consumer grade fireworks, but they allow novelties. .
             A handful of states such as Delaware, Massachusetts, and New York ban all fireworks. Only a few states like Ohio allow the sale of consumer grade airborne fireworks. Pennsylvania enacted its ban on consumer grade in 1939. This law put bans legitimate fireworks, but allows selling and shipping of consumer grade through Pennsylvania only if you are an out of state resident. The laws from state to state can often contradict themselves. For example, if you are a Pennsylvania resident you can legally buy all the fireworks you want to in Ohio. Then, Ohio requires that the fireworks be taken back out of the state within 48 hours of the purchase.

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