MADISON – Citizens and visitors of Wisconsin should remember that state laws and local ordinances regulate and restrict the use of fireworks, advises state Attorney General Brad Schiel.

The laws and ordinances exist to protect the public from potentially dangerous explosives, he said. Many local ordinances are stricter than state law when it comes to the regulation of fireworks. Local law enforcement agencies can be contacted with questions about fireworks.

Wisconsin state law allows the sale, possession and use of sparklers (not exceeding 36 inches in length), stationary cones and fountains, toy snakes, smoke bombs, caps, noisemakers, confetti poppers with less than ¼ grain of explosive mixture, and novelty devices that spin or move on the ground.

There is no age restriction to this law. They are the only kinds of fireworks that a person may use or possess without a permit or that may be sold to a person who does not have a permit.

The following fireworks are illegal without a permit: firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rockets and mortars, and any other firework. A good rule of thumb is that a permit is required if the device explodes or leaves the ground. The sale of the restricted fireworks to a resident of Wisconsin without a valid permit is also illegal.

A person who possesses or uses fireworks without a valid permit, or who sells fireworks to a person who does not have a valid permit, is subject to a forfeiture of up to $1,000 per violation. Each firework illegally possessed, used or sold may be a separate violation.

A parent or guardian who allows a minor to possess or use fireworks (not including those for which no permits are required) is subject to a forfeiture of up to $1,000 per violation.

Permits are issued by municipalities and are only valid in the city, village or town where the permit was issued.


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