Fireworks sales are now legal in Georgia. Here’s what you need to know

How late you can set them off and how much it will cost you to sell them
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Fireworks
Photograph by Ryan Hayslip

Just in time to make your neighborhood Independence Day gathering really take off, fireworks sales are now legal in Georgia. A new law goes into effect July 1 and means we can stock up on bottle rockets closer to home, consigning to history those pilgrimages to Shelton’s.

$5,000
Initial fee businesses and nonprofits will pay the Safety Fire Commissioner to sell from a permanent location. Yearly renewal: $1,000.

Midnight
The latest you can set off fireworks—except for July 3 and 4, December 31, and January 1, when it’s permissible to keep the explosions going until 2 a.m.

$500
One-time fee for a temporary sales license.

5%
Excise tax on fireworks. This is on top of all other taxes.

18
Legal age to buy fireworks. However, 16- and 17-year-olds can “possess or transport” and “sell or offer to sell” pyrotechnic gizmos if assisting a licensed distributor (i.e., clerking).

11,400
Georgians—40 percent of them children—treated at the ER for fireworks injuries in 2013. Public health officials and firefighters protested the law.

1,500
Number of jobs that the bill’s supporters claim will be created by keeping fireworks sales in-state, thus saving Georgians treks to the border. Every neighboring state except North Carolina allows fireworks sales.

What’s Allowed
Bottle rockets, Roman candles

What’s Verboten
Firecrackers, sky-launchers, balloons or rockets powered by explosives, bombs

Facetime
Fireworks can only be sold “face-to-face,” meaning no boom in online or mail-order business.

This article originally appeared in our July 2015 issue.

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