With the 4th of July holiday days away, the State Fire Marshal’s Office urges residents to be respectful of the Massachusetts Fireworks Law and of your neighbors and community.

The use of fireworks by anyone who is not a licensed professional is against the law in Massachusetts.  It is illegal for a private citizen to use, possess, or sell fireworks in the state.  It is also against Mass state law to buy fireworks in another state and transport them over Mass state lines.

You might be of the mindset that everyone loves fireworks and my neighbors will enjoy my makeshift display.  On the contrary.  Fireworks can cause a great deal of anxiety in dogs and other pets.  A concerned pet owner may turn you in if they feel you are causing harm to their 4-legged loved one.  That could lead to you being fined or even arrested.  Food for thought before you show off your fireworks skills in the neighborhood.

Below is the Massachusetts Fireworks Law MGL Chapter 148, S 39 as outlined by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

WHAT DOES THE LAW PROHIBIT?

It is illegal for private citizens to use, possess, or sell fireworks in Massachusetts, or to purchase them legally elsewhere and then transport them into the state. The law prohibits any article designed to produce a visible or audible effect.

THE SALE OF FIREWORKS

Penalty: Fine or imprisonment or both, and confiscation

Fine: $100 to $1000

Imprisonment: Maximum of 1 year

Seizure of fireworks: Mandatory

Who can arrest? Any officer qualified to serve criminal process.

Must an officer arrest? No. Statute says the officer may arrest without a warrant.

Must an officer seize the fireworks? Yes, the statute says the officer shall seize any fireworks.

POSSESSION, USE, CAUSE, TO EXPLODE OF FIREWORKS

Penalty: Fine and confiscation only

Fine: $10 to $100

Seizure of fireworks: Mandatory

Who can seize? Any officer qualified to serve criminal process.

May an officer arrest? For possession, no. The statute only provides for a fine upon conviction and automatic confiscation of fireworks.

Must an officer seize the fireworks? Yes, the statute says the officer shall seize any fireworks.

SEIZURE 

Can people get their fireworks back? No. If convicted, the fireworks are forfeited to the state.

What does an officer do with confiscated fireworks? During business hours, contact the State Police Bomb Squad at (978) 567-3310. Notify them immediately for large quantities, commercial grade, or deteriorated materials. After hours, call (508) 820-2121 and ask for the Troop Duty Officer in your area. An on-call Bomb Squad Officer will arrange for pick-up.

The best thing to do is to leave the fireworks to the professionals.  There are two fireworks displays this 4th of July in the Berkshires.

Pittsfield fireworks display will be Sunday night (4th) at Pittsfield Park on Wahconah beginning at 9 pm.  If the show were to rain out a make-up date would be announced.

North Adams fireworks display will be Sunday night (4th) at the Joe Wolf Field on State Street beginning at 9:30 pm.  The rain date for North Adams is Monday July 5th.

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