Librarian Files

Fireworks Laws in Arizona and Tucson 

Stands selling fireworks pop up all over Tucson and Arizona each July, but have you ever wondered which fireworks are actually usable under our current laws? Over the past few years, these laws have undergone big changes. If you’re thinking about kicking off your next holiday celebration with a bang, read on for more information about how state and local regulations might affect you.

Arizona

Arizona’s law on fireworks changed effective December 1, 2010, as a result of House Bill 2246 (laws 2010, Chapter 286). This bill was passed by the Arizona Legislature, and amended the state's previous fireworks statute. 
 
The amended statute now allows for “permissible” fireworks to be sold within Arizona. Permissible fireworks are designed to be handheld or designed to remain on the ground. They are:
  • Ground and handheld sparkling devices
  • Cylindrical fountains
  • Cone fountains
  • Illuminating torches
  • Wheels
  • Ground spinners
  • Flitter sparklers
  • Toy smoke devices
  • Wire sparklers or dipped sticks
  • Multiple tube fireworks devices and pyrotechnic articles 
Sparklers, snakes and smoke bombs are considered novelty devices, and their use is not restricted.
 
Some examples of items that are still not permitted under the new law:
  • Bottle rockets 
  • Sky rockets 
  • Missile-type rockets 
  • Helicopters 
  • Torpedoes 
  • Roman candles 
  • Jumping jacks
Even though Arizona law allows the sale of permissible fireworks, individual cities are able to prohibit their use, and counties can decide to place limits on use in unincorporated areas during periods when wildfire risk is elevated.

Tucson

Tucson is one city that has chosen to make setting off fireworks illegal. The city's law, passed on November 23, 2010, states that the use of fireworks within the city is prohibited. 
  
If you are a Tucsonan who wants to celebrate with a little spark, don't despair! The Tucson law does not forbid the use of novelty items, which include:
  • Snappers
  • Snap caps
  • Party poppers
  • Glow worms
  • Snakes
  • Toy smoke
  • Devices and sparklers
For more information about state firework laws, visit the American Pyrotechnics Association.
 
Sources:
 
City of Tucson,email to Pima County Public Library, December 2010.
 
"House Bill 2246." Arizona State Legislature. http://www.azleg.gov//FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/49leg/2r/laws/0286.htm&Session_ID=93 (accessed January 14, 2013).
 
"Directory of State Laws." American Pyrotechnics Association. http://americanpyro.com/State%20Laws%20%28main%29/statelaws.html (accessed January 14, 2013).
 
"Mayor and Council Communication." Mayor and Council Communication. http://www.tucsonaz.gov/sirepub/cache/2/id41ba4553uqpwyvriroe555/330275311082011061047872.PDF (accessed November 8, 2011; no longer available).
 
"Some fireworks now legal in Arizona after Dec. 1 - Tucson News Now." Tucson News Now. http://www.kold.com/global/story.asp?s=12460385 (accessed January 14, 2013).
 
 

Article tagged with: fireworks, law, tucson, arizona

Last Update: 1-14-2013 2:16pm

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