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4th of July

All the States Where You Can Legally Buy Fireworks for the Fourth of July

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Bozeman, United States - July 1, 2013: A few days before the July 4th holiday, a fully stocked fireworks stand is open for business on the side of the road. American flags decorate the stand which boldly advertises TNT and Fireworks. Behind the stand is a parked blue pickup truck and open sky.

The Fourth of July is right around the corner, which means it’s time to stock up on your party supplies. For most of us “stocking up” simply means heading down to the local grocery store to buy every last hot dog, bun, chip and dip we can get our hands on, but for some of the more ambitious in the crowd that also means purchasing pyrotechnics.

But purchasing fireworks isn’t legal in all 50 states. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, “47 states plus the District of Columbia allow some or all types of consumer fireworks.”

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“Some” is the operative word in that statement. Sure, it seems like a buzzkill to not be able to purchase sparklers, but those limits are in place for our safety, according to the APA.

“Safety must always be the number one priority when using fireworks,” Julie Heckman, the executive director of the APA, told USA Today. “It is important for individuals to know what is legal in their area and to obey local fireworks laws.”

To help you understand what you can and cannot purchase in your state the APA put together a handy map and guide both illustrating and breaking down what’s legal and where.

For example, the sale of any and all consumer fireworks is banned in Massachusetts, Delaware and New Jersey. In Illinois, Iowa, Ohio and Vermont only wire or wood stick sparklers and other novelty items are permissible for sale.

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But, in other states like Rhode Island the law gets a bit tricky. In the smallest state in the union, people over the age of 16 can purchase “hand-held and ground based sparkling devices including fountains, illuminating torches, wheels, ground spinners, flitter sparklers, sparklers & novelties devices,” but cannot purchase “aerial consumer, display fireworks, and pyrotechnics,” according to the APA.

And in California, the country’s most populous state, consumers can legally purchase “ground and handheld sparkling devices,” but cannot purchase “firecrackers; skyrockets; rockets; Roman candles; chasers; all wire and wooden stick sparklers; surprise items; friction items; torpedoes; firework kits and fireworks containing arsenic, phosphorus, thiocyanates magnesium (magnesium-aluminum alloys are allowed); Mercury salts; picrates or picric acid; gallates or gallic acid; select chlorates; boron; titanium (except particle sizes larger than 100 mesh); zirconium and gunpowder.”

As USA Today reported, some neighborhoods may have their own specific fireworks restrictions so it’s important to check with your local town hall before setting off any pyrotechnics this Independence Day.

States That Allow Some or All Types of Consumer Fireworks Permitted by Federal Regulations 

(Note: State laws vary, please consult the Directory of State Laws for more specifics).

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Virginia
Washington
Washington D.C.
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
States That Allow Only Wire or Wood Stick Sparklers and Other Novelty Items
Illinois
Iowa
Ohio
Vermont
States That Ban All Consumer Fireworks
Delaware
Massachusetts
New Jersey

This article originally appeared on Travelandleisure.com