Fireworks: What's legal and what's not

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on July 2, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 4 at 7:17 AM

PHOENIX -- Just because you can buy fireworks does not mean you can use them -- at least not legally.

The laws are different for each Arizona city.

Gilbert and Mesa, for example, allow "safe and sane" fireworks on July 4. Glendale allows them throughout the year. "Safe and sane" fireworks include ground spinners and devices that shoot sparks from the ground.

In Phoenix, only novelty fireworks like sparklers and party poppers are permitted.

None of the cities in Arizona allow fireworks that shoot into the air or explode.

Because of the extreme fire danger, strict fireworks restrictions have been put in place for state lands and federally managed land.

The sale of fireworks had been illegal in Arizona for 50 years. That changed on Dec. 1, 2010.This is the first Fourth of July since the new law allowing the sale of fireworks went into effect.

Even though sales of certain types of fireworks are now legal, most municipalities govern the use of those fireworks within their borders. The cities also dictate the charges and potential punishments offenders might face.

Penalties for the illegal use of fireworks in Phoenix, for example, are a fine of up to $2,500 and up to six months in jail. The charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

"Just don't buy them at all," said Capt. Scott Walker of the Phoenix Fire Department. "Don't use them at all. Let the professionals do the fireworks show."

Read: BLM restricts fireworks over holiday weekend

Read: Fireworks restrictions put in place for state lands

Events: Phoenix Fireworks & Free 4th of July Festivities

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