New state law makes aerial fireworks legal for Pennsylvania residents

The law, titled House Bill 542, passed on Oct. 30. It permits Pennsylvania residents to buy and use the same high octane fireworks only out-of-staters could buy in the past. It used to be that state residents could only purchase what is referred to as safe and sane items, including sparklers, fountains and novelties.

The law, titled House Bill 542, passed on Oct. 30. It permits Pennsylvania residents to buy and use the same high octane fireworks only out-of-staters could buy in the past.

It used to be that state residents could only purchase what is referred to as safe and sane items, including sparklers, fountains and novelties. Now they can launch aerial items in their own back yards.

“Overall, it has been frustrating for Pennsylvania residents over the years when they can only shop for certain fireworks,” State Rep. Rosemary Brown said. “The new law allows Pennsylvania residents to purchase Class C fireworks for the 18 and older population that can already be sold to out of state residents.”

Fireworks stores must be licensed to receive a certificate to sell the aerial fireworks to state residents. Ken Schuchman, who owns three Fireworks Outlet stores in the county said his stores passed inspection last Friday and he received the first three licenses under the new state law.

“For the first time ever people can buy fireworks for Christmas and buy them for stocking stuffers,” Schuchman said. “The fact that it’s legal, a lot of people are going to buy.”

The law was passed as a revenue generator to fill budget gaps. A 12 percent fireworks tax will be added on to fireworks sales in addition to the state’s six percent sales tax. That money will go to a fund for first responders.

The law will be a big boost to Phantom Fireworks of Delaware Water Gap, which is just off the first exit of Interstate 80 west entering Pennsylvania.

“We have applied for a new license,” manager Greg Marino said. “Our inspection should be coming up in a week or so. Once we pass we will be able to sell all aerial fireworks to Pennsylvania residents.”

Marino expects business to boom, but maybe not until around the Fourth of July.

“Now the Pennsylvania residents will be able to take advantage or what New Jersey and New York residents have been taking advantage of,” Marino said.

Phantom’s best seller in the aerial category is a 500 gram aerial repeater, with motors fused together, launching multiple shots up to 180 feet high with different effects. It ranges in price between $100 and $250.

 

Under the old law, if you were a Pennsylvania resident, you would have to apply to your municipality for a permit to buy these fireworks and use them on your property. Marino said the store had between 30 and 50 customers a year that did that.

The number one seller at Fireworks Outlet is the Excalibur, a 24 shot reloadable mortar kit that sells for $69.88.

“I’m looking forward to expanding my customer base in Pennsylvania,” Schuchman said.

Partial Credit Pocono Record

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