Massachusetts Fireworks Laws
The 4th of July Holiday is less than 2 weeks away. This is a holiday that traditional brings about the illegal use of fireworks throughout our Community and others. Our Officers as usual will be enforcing the laws where possible. Our main focus is to make sure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday.
The laws and penalties pertaining to the illegal use and possession of fireworks have been provided below.
Chapter 148, Section 35 Possession of Bombs and Explosives
• No person shall have in his/her possession or under his/her control any bomb or other high explosive, as defined by the rules and regulations made under Section nine (9), contrary to the provisions of this chapter or any rules or regulation made thereunder.
• Penalty is a Misdemeanor. Whoever violates this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment for not more than two and one half years, or both, and any bomb or explosive found in his/her possession or under his/her control on such violation shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth.
Chapter 148, Section 39 Illegal Possession and Exploding of Fireworks
• No person shall sell, or keep or offer for sale, or have in his/her possession, or under his/her control, or use, or explode, or cause to explode, any combustible or explosive composition or substance, or any combination of such compositions or substances, or any other article, which was prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation.
• Fireworks includes: For the purpose of this section the word “Fireworks” shall include compositions, substances or other articles and shall also include blank cartridges or toy cannons in which explosives are used, the type of toy balloon which requires fire underneath to propel the same, firecrackers, cherry bombs, silver salutes, M-80’s torpedoes, sky-rockets, Roman candles, sparklers, rockets, wheels, colored fires, fountains, mines, serpents, or other fireworks of like construction or any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound, or any tablets or other device containing any explosive substance.
• Fireworks DOES NOT include: The term “fireworks” as used shall not include toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices in which paper caps or plastic caps containing twenty-five hundredths grains or less of explosive compound are used, if they are so constructed that the hand cannot come in contact with the cap when in place for the explosion, or toy pistol paper caps or plastic caps which contain less than twenty hundredths grains of explosive mixture, the sale and use of which shall be permitted at all times; and provided, further, that this section does not apply:
• Penalty is a Misdemeanor. Whoever shall sell or keep for sale or offer for sale any fireworks in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1000) or by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year or both.
• Penalty is a Misdemeanor. Whoever shall have in his/her possession or under his/her control, or whoever shall use or explode or cause to explode any fireworks in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars ($10) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100).
• The mere possession of fireworks is a non-arrestable misdemeanor. An Officer may seize the fireworks (since they are contraband) and later seek complaints. This does not mean that in extreme cases Officers are precluded from using other charges such as disorderly or disturbing the peace.
• Note on Seizure: Any Officer qualified to serve criminal process shall seize all of the fireworks mentioned herein without a warrant, and the fireworks seized shall, upon conviction of such violation, be forfeited to the Commonwealth.
• Notice of Seizure: Notice of such seizure of the fireworks shall immediately be sent to the Fire Marshal by the Officer making the seizure, and the fireworks seized shall be held and securely stored by the Department until the Fire Marshal or his authorized representative takes them into his/her possession for disposal.
• Fireworks DOES NOT include the following: The term “fireworks” as used shall not include toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices in which paper caps or plastic caps containing twenty-five hundredths grains or less of explosive compound are used, if they are so constructed that the hand cannot come in contact with the cap when in place for the explosion, or toy pistol paper caps or plastic caps which contain less than twenty hundredths grains of explosive mixture, the sale and use of which shall be permitted at all times; and provided, further, that this section does not apply:
• To the sale of any fireworks to be shipped directly out of the Commonwealth, or
• To the sale of any such article for the use of, and its use by, persons having obtained a permit for a supervised display of such fireworks from the Fire Marshall or some Officer designated by him/her therefore, under any provision of section thirty-nine A, or
• To the sale of flares, lanterns or fireworks for the use of and their use by, railroads, railways, boats, motor vehicles or other transportation agencies, or other activity, lawfully permitted or required to use any or all of such articles for signal purposes, illumination or otherwise, or
• To the sale or use of blank cartridges for a duly licensed show or theatre or for signal or ceremonial purposes in athletics or sports, or to the sale of special blank cartridges and their use in the proper operation of industrial tools and equipment only, or
• To experiments at a factory, for explosives, or
• To the sale of blank cartridges for the use of, or their use by, the militia or any organization of war veterans or other organizations authorized by law to parade in public, a color guard armed with firearms, or
• In teaching the use of firearms by experts, or
• To the sale of shells for firearms, cartridges, gunpowder, and for the purposes of using, and their use, or in connection with the hunting of game or in target practice with firearms, or
• To farmers and fruit growers who, having obtained a permit under section thirteen of chapter forty-eight, sue firecrackers for control of damage to their crops by birds
Have a Safe Holiday
Chief Dave Ricardi