Special Report

Can You Celebrate the Fourth With Fireworks in Your State?

Like nearly everything else in 2020, Independence Day celebrations this year are likely going to look different than they normally do. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many Fourth of July events are being postponed, altered, or cancelled this year — including traditional fireworks displays. People may be inclined to shoot off their own fireworks if they cannot get their usual fill of pyrotechnics from city-sponsored events, but it is important they first know their state’s unique laws and restrictions about fireworks.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed state fireworks laws, as compiled by the American Pyrotechnics Association, as well as local cancellations of July Fourth celebrations across the country to determine whether you can celebrate July Fourth with fireworks in your state. It should go without saying that this article is not a replacement for legal advice, and people should consult their local laws before purchasing or using fireworks.

Nearly every state allows some types of fireworks — just three states allow only sparklers and smaller novelty items like snappers or smoke devices, and one state bans all types of consumer fireworks. But virtually every state has at least some kind of restrictions. 

Some states have instituted a minimum age to purchase pyrotechnics. Others have banned fireworks of certain types, sizes, or that contain specific dangerous ingredients. Many states have limited where and when fireworks can be used or sold.

For those Americans who are planning to enjoy large city-sponsored fireworks displays, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still recommending people observe social distancing and wear masks as the U.S. experiences its largest outbreak of COVID-19 to date. From the week ending June 22 to the week ending June 29, the average daily new cases per 100,000 residents increased in 39 of the 50 states. These are the states where COVID-19 is spreading the fastest.

Click here to see if you can celebrate the fourth with fireworks in your state