How Fireworks Work in Virginia
This week, our country celebrated Independence Day. July the 4th is a celebration of what took place 241 years ago when the United States of America was born. As WTOP reports, one of our nation’s founding fathers thought that July 4th “ought to be solemnized with…Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations.” Our country listened. To this day, fireworks are an important part of our Independence Day celebrations.
Did you celebrate with fireworks? Did you break any laws? Sadly, something so simple and enjoyable as fireworks can be an easy place to break Virginia’s laws.
Virginia Laws on Fireworks:
According to the Virginia Department of Forestry, “many types of fireworks (including firecrackers, sparklers, bottle rockets, skyrockets, torpedoes and other fireworks that explode, travel laterally, rise into the air, or fire projectiles into the air) are illegal in Virginia unless you are a licensed contractor.” That is a fair amount of fireworks options that are not even a possibility for the most responsible of citizens.
It could be worse, though. In the city of Alexandria, even sparklers are illegal.
Punishment for Illegal Fireworks:
Some people try to avoid the fireworks laws in Virginia by crossing the border. Central Virginia residents are in the middle portion of the state, but that does not deter everyone. Some residents like to cross over into neighboring states with relaxed fireworks laws by comparison, purchase what they want, and bring it back home with them.
While that might result in a better celebration of the holiday, actions like this can also result in a Class 1 misdemeanor. Just possessing illegal fireworks in the Commonwealth may result in this level of misdemeanor. Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500.
Most people will purchase their fireworks at local booths, tents, and businesses. This is, of course, a perfectly appropriate and normal thing to do. It should also keep you safe from running afoul of the law.
Fireworks Get Political:
Of course, laws can be changed, and that is exactly what gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie would like to do. As part of his campaign for governor, Gillespie has called for the legalization of certain “higher-grade fireworks,” like bottle rockets and Roman candles. In his opinion, it would create more “jobs, revenue, and fun.” Many citizens probably agree, at least about the part involving fun.
While there are plenty of laws in place to regulate the fun, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate. Hopefully, the 4th of July was a fun and relaxing holiday for you. And hopefully, you stayed out of trouble. If you did not, the best thing you can do is call or e-mail today for a free consultation!
Case Results Disclaimer:
Every legal matter is different. The outcome of each legal case depends upon many factors, including the facts of the case, and no attorney can guarantee a positive result in any particular case. The outcome of every case will depend on a variety of factors unique to each case and case results depicted here do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.
Attorney/Client Relationship Disclaimer:
This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this website should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.
Blog Content Disclaimer:
The blog posts contained on this website were written, in part, by a non-lawyer employee of Jordan B. Davies. However, each post has been carefully reviewed and edited by Jordan B. Davies to ensure legal accuracy and compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct.