The Oswego County Legislature passed a new law at its June meeting which will allow residents to use sparklers and similar non-explosive devices for their Independence Day celebrations.
The law permits “safe and common items,” such as sparklers, to be excluded from the list of dangerous fireworks as defined by the state penal code.
The New York State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo amended state laws to place additional restrictions on dangerous fireworks; however, the amendments also permit local municipalities to enact their own local laws under home rule authority.
“When the state added restrictions, they also recognized that certain types of fireworks should not be labeled as dangerous because they pose little to no threat to the public and doing so would restrict business and personal enjoyment,” said county Legislator James Weatherup, District 9, chairman of the Oswego County Legislature’s Public Safety Committee. “We have found that the sale and enjoyment of safe ‘sparkler devices’ benefits our residents and businesses alike.”
Safe “sparkler devices” are described as ground or hand-held devices that produce a shower of white, gold or colored sparks. Other effects may include a colored flame, crackling or whistling sounds or smoke. These devices do not explode, rise or fire projectiles into the air.
Allowable “sparkler devices” include cylindrical or cone fountains and wooden (not metal) dipped sparkler sticks. Other novelty items which are not regulated as explosives, provided they are manufactured and packaged properly, include snappers and party poppers.
The law allows businesses, residents and visitors to sell or use these items between June 1 and July 5, as well as from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2, every year.
Only those aged 18 and older may purchase these sparkler-type products.
It also states that all distributors, manufacturers and retailers must be licensed through the New York Department of State.
The new law took effect on June 21 after filing with the Office of the Secretary of State in Albany.