How does the law define a firework?
A firework is any device designed to produce a visible or audible effect by combustion, deflagration, or detonation. South Carolina recognizes two kinds of legal fireworks: “display fireworks” and “consumer fireworks.” Display fireworks are the big and booming fireworks that we think of on the Fourth of July, whereas consumer fireworks are much smaller and quieter, such as sparklers and whistlers. However, it is illegal to store, transport, or possess any fireworks containing excessive pyrotechnic composition, including ground bombs, cherry bombs, M-80s, T-N-T salutes, and bulldog salutes.
Who can purchase fireworks?
You must be 16 years or older to purchase fireworks in South Carolina.
Who can sell fireworks?
You must be 18 years or older to be a lawful fireworks distributor. South Carolina requires that a distributor must have a license issued by the State, public liability insurance, and many other components.
Where can fireworks be discharged?
The use of fireworks depends on the municipality. In the city of Charleston, it is unlawful for any person to use, fire, shoot, or discharge any display fireworks within the city limits. There are no such ordinances that prevent the use of fireworks in Charleston County, and fireworks may be discharged within county limits. However, some homeowner associations may prohibit the use of fireworks in certain neighborhoods, and anyone who shoots fireworks may be subject to a noise violation. Also, fireworks may not be discharged indoors.
Fines and Penalties:
Any person found in violation of South Carolina firework laws is guilty of a misdemeanor. The law imposes a fine of up to $200 for first offenses, a minimum of $500 for second offenses, and a minimum of $1,000 for third offenses. Additionally, any person who stores, transports, or possesses illegal fireworks can be fined up to $10,000.
As the Fourth of July quickly approaches, it is important to be safe and legal if you are planning to purchase, sell, or use fireworks. If you have questions, you may contact your local fire department or sheriff’s office.