An Act To Legalize the Sale, Possession and Use of Fireworks
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, this legislation needs to take effect before the 4th of July holiday and before the 90-day period expires; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 8 MRSA §221-A, sub-§1-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 8 MRSA §221-A, sub-§3-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 3. 8 MRSA §221-A, sub-§4, as enacted by PL 1999, c. 671, §2, is amended to read:
The term "fireworks" does not include consumer fireworks or toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices in which paper caps or plastic caps containing 25/100 grains or less of explosive compound are used if they are constructed so that the hand can not come in contact with the cap when in place for the explosion, toy pistol paper caps or plastic caps that contain less than 20/100 grains of explosive mixture or sparklers that do not contain magnesium chlorates or perchlorates.
Sec. 4. 8 MRSA §223, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2003, c. 452, Pt. C, §3 and affected by Pt. X, §2, is further amended to read:
Sec. 5. 8 MRSA §223-A is enacted to read:
§ 223-A. Sale of consumer fireworks
A municipality may require a fee for a permit issued under this subsection.
The commissioner shall charge a fee of $1,500 for a license under this subsection.
Sec. 6. 8 MRSA §236, as enacted by PL 1999, c. 671, §12, is amended to read:
§ 236. Adoption of rules
The commissioner shall, in accordance with the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, may adopt reasonable rules relative to the use, storage, transportation and display of consumer fireworks, fireworks and special effect pyrotechnics and to carry out the purposes of this chapter and shall devise and publish a safety pamphlet detailing appropriate use of the permissible fireworks. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A 2-A.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.
This bill removes the prohibition on the sale and use of consumer fireworks and establishes a licensing protocol for sellers of consumer fireworks. A seller of consumer fireworks must have a federal and state license and a permit from a municipality. A municipality may adopt an ordinance that allows or prohibits the sale, use or possession of consumer fireworks. A seller of consumer fireworks must be 21 years of age or older and may not have been convicted or found in violation of any state, federal or municipal law, rule or regulation concerning fireworks or explosives. Consumer fireworks must be stored in a building exclusively used for the storage and sale of fireworks that has met all applicable fire safety and building codes and zoning and municipal ordinances. The Commissioner of Public Safety may adopt rules relative to the use, storage, transportation and display of consumer fireworks. A seller of consumer fireworks may not use misleading advertising and must warn consumers in any advertising to check with the local fire department to see if consumer fireworks are allowed in the community. A seller of consumer fireworks must provide a safety pamphlet to each purchaser of consumer fireworks. A person who violates the provisions of this bill is liable for any bodily injury or property damage that results and cannot use certain civil defenses. A violation of the provisions of this bill may result in the seizure of the consumer fireworks and suspension of a license to sell consumer fireworks and is a Class E crime.