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June 27, 2015

Pennsylvania lawmakers to introduce bill legalizing sale of consumer fireworks

Legislation would lift ban in state

A group of state senators plan to introduce a bill legalizing the sale of consumer fireworks in Pennsylvania. 

Senators Elder Vogel (R-Beaver), Don White (R-Indiana) and Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) announced Friday that they will soon bring legislation to the Senate floor that would lift the ban on state businesses selling Class C fireworks, better known as consumer fireworks, to Pennsylvania residents.

Currently, living in Pennsylvania means you're limited to buying and using sparklers and other novelty fireworks, unless you get a permit. 

Out-of-state residents, however, are allowed to buy "real" fireworks from Pennsylvania vendors, causing many from neighboring states to head in to buy their roman candles and bottle rockets for their summer celebrations. 

“Currently, Pennsylvanians can buy Class C fireworks in surrounding states, but not in Pennsylvania." Senator Yaw said in a statement. "What we are proposing is a common sense approach.  Pennsylvania is losing money and jobs by limiting the sale of consumer fireworks to state residents.” 

Their proposed legislation, which the senators claim would add revenue to the state, would also put an excise tax on fireworks sale. The tax's funds would go to fire and EMS personnel.

“It’s common sense to give Pennsylvanians the same convenience as out of state residents and at the same time help to provide funds for our first responders," Senator Vogel said.