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New Consumer Fireworks Legislation


The Michigan Fireworks Safety Act became effective on January 1, 2012. The new statute makes the sale, use, and possession of “consumer fireworks” legal. Consumer fireworks are fireworks that are designed to produce visible and/or audible effects by combustion, such as firecrackers, Roman candles, and bottle rockets. Photos of Legal Fireworks in Michigan (pdf). Read more.

2013 Amendments Authorizing More Local Government Control
The Act was amended this summer and stronger language was added giving local units of government the ability to regulate the "ignition, discharge, and use of consumer fireworks, including, but not limited to, an ordinance prescribing the hours of the day or night during which a person may ignite, discharge, or use consumer fireworks." (MCL 28.457(2)).

In addition, the following language was added to the Act:
(2)(a) A local unit of government with a population of 50,000 or more or a local unit of government located in a county with a population of 750,000 or more may regulate the ignition, discharge, or use of consumer fireworks between the hours of 12 midnight and 8 a.m. or between the hours of 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. on New Year’s day.
(b) A local unit of government with a population of less than 50,000 located in a county with a population of less than 750,000 may regulate the ignition, discharge, or use of consumer fireworks between the hours of 1 a.m. and 8 a.m.
(3) An ordinance under subsection (2) shall only impose a civil fine of not more than $500 for each violation of the ordinance and no other fine or sanction.

AG weighs in on local regulation of the sale of fireworks
The attorney general has released Opinion No. 7266, involving the local regulation of fireworks in the wake of Michigan Fireworks Safety Act (PA 256 of 2011), which took effect Jan. 1, 2012. The opinion states that a generally applicable local ordinance regulating all use of temporary vending facilities (not just those related to fireworks) has only an incidental effect on the sale of fireworks, and is not preempted by PA 256. A municipality cannot regulate or adopt an ordinance specifically regulating the sale, display for sale, storage, transportation, or distribution of fireworks that are regulated by PA 256 (consumer and low-impact fireworks).

Display Fireworks
Cities, villages, and townships are responsible, under Michigan law, for issuing permits for "display fireworks" (for example, a Fourth of July fireworks show) and "articles pyrotechnic" (for example, professional displays during concerts or shows, especially with a "proximate" audience). Fireworks application and permit forms are provided only to the city, village, or township (the local permitting authority), and are available only from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Bureau of Fire Services at (517) 241-0691. Read more.

Fireworks Ordinances
Note: LARA has requested an Attorney General opinion regarding some of the aspects of local regulation of fireworks. The following information has been confirmed with LARA, but is subject to change pending the requested guidance. (April 25, 2012)

A city, village, or township cannot regulate or adopt an ordinance regulating the sale, display (for sale), storage, transportation, or distribution of fireworks that are regulated by PA 256 (consumer fireworks and low impact fireworks). LARA regulates the storage and sale through mandatory registration and fees, and the U.S. Department of Transportation regulates transport.

A city, village, or township may enact an ordinance regulating (including prohibiting) the ignition, discharge, and use of consumer fireworks, but such an ordinance cannot regulate (including prohibiting) the use of consumer fireworks on the day preceding, the day of, or the day after a national holiday. Read more.

Resources:
Fireworks Q&A May/June 2012 The Review

Michigan Fireworks Safety Act (PA 256 of 2011, MCL 28.451, et seq.) website PDF

Ten Frequently Asked Questions on the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act (LARA)

Sample ordinances:
Ferndale (HRC) pop. 19,900
Grand Rapids (HRC) pop. 188,040
Royal Oak (HRC) pop. 57, 236

Websites:
Michigan Fireworks Information Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs(LARA) website.

ATF Fireworks Safety and Security Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives(ATF) web portal.

National Fire Protection Association Codes (NFPA website).

 

 

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