Newly approved legislation will allow the personal use of fireworks in Delaware for the first time, but pyrotechnic fanatics shouldn’t cancel their cross-border sourcing sorties for Roman Candles and bottle rockets just yet.
The bill, HB 53, was introduced by retiring Rep. Joseph Miro and signed into law by Gov. John Carney without fanfare on May 10. The measure amends Title 16 of the Delaware code relating to selling or possessing fireworks, decriminalizing sale and use of certain combustible products – limiting use to just two days a year: July 4 and December 31.
HB 53 permits only ground-based and hand-held sparklers and certain other nonexplosive, nonairborne novelty items for use by those 18 and over and available for purchase for 30 days prior to the holidays. That means, yes, even firecrackers are still officially banned in Delaware.
According to the News Journal, Miro, a Pike Creek Republican, “introduced the bill for a few reasons, one being he wanted Delaware to join the rest of the country rather than having residents drive to Pennsylvania and Maryland and then illegally use ground-based items in the First State.”
Retailers will need a license to sell the limited array of fireworks now permitted in the state.
Delaware is one of 11 states since 2011 to have lifted restrictions on the sale of most types of consumer fireworks.
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, setting off aerial fireworks is now allowable without a permit for the first time since 1939. The neighboring state passed legislation in October legalizing powerful pyrotechnics – throughout the year.
Be safe out there everyone!