Act 43 of 2017 expanded the sale and use of fireworks in Pennsylvania to “consumer fireworks.” These fireworks have an aerial and explosive element compared to “ground fireworks” for sale prior to Act 43. Since enactment, public safety personnel have reported a significant increase in fireworks related incidents and injuries, as well as significant constituent complaints. Furthermore, Act 43 preempts local regulation via municipal ordinance.
Since July, several new bills have been introduced to deal with this issue. They are listed to the left. On July 20, the League’s Board changed our policy on consumer fireworks. The League is now advocating for a full repeal of Act 43. Please utilize the sample op-ed under Resources to help with our advocacy efforts. And, please contact your House and Senate members demanding a full repeal.
July 6, 2020 Action Call: Fight for Local Option to Say No to Fireworks
On the heels of a very active and dangerous July 4th weekend for communities across the Commonwealth, we are re-affirming the League’s position on consumer fireworks and requesting that you contact your House and Senate members today in support of every municipality in the Commonwealth having the ability to prohibit consumer fireworks, absent a repeal of the entire 2017 law. The League has advocated for local control regarding fireworks since developing our position in 2018 in consultation with the PA Fire Chiefs’ Association and the PA Fire and Emergency Services Institute.
On June 30, the PA Senate adopted an amendment to Senate Bill 932 that allows nine highly populated communities (8 cities and 1 second class township) to prohibit consumer fireworks within their borders. Unless the General Assembly is going to repeal the law, all communities should have this right.
The expansion of the use of consumer fireworks to the general public is dangerous and very often illegal. Communities and first responders are paying the price for this state sanctioned expansion. The approximately $10 million in state tax revenue is not worth the cost of property and lives lost since 2017. Nor is it worth the degradation in quality of life experienced by so many Pennsylvanians throughout the summer months.
If the General Assembly is not willing to repeal the 2017 law in its entirety, each municipality must be given the local option to say “NO” to consumer fireworks.
Contact your House and Senate members today and demand the local authority to prohibit consumer fireworks in every community. And, please encourage your residents to do the same.
Click here to access your legislator’s contact information.