Are Fireworks Legal in North Carolina?

On the Fourth of July, millions of Americans celebrate the birthday of our nation by barbequing, throwing pool parties, watching parades, and—of course—setting off fireworks. However, North Carolinians face strict fireworks laws.

By contrast, many of our state residents travel to South Carolina since their fireworks laws are less restrictive. In fact, most fireworks are legal there. Keep in mind, many fireworks you can buy across the border are illegal in North Carolina.

The following are types of fireworks are legal in the state:

  • Sparklers
  • Poppers
  • Fountains
  • Smoke devices
  • Snappers
  • Glow worms
  • Snakes
  • Any novelty items that do not explode, spin, fly, or leave the ground

Illegal fireworks in North Carolina include:

  • Bottle rockets
  • Firecrackers
  • Roman candles
  • Firecrackers
  • Aerial fireworks
  • Any firework that explodes or is projected into the air

A person must be 18 years of age or older to purchase fireworks. Violating the state's fireworks laws is considred a misdemeanor offense, which carries a maximum fine of $500. However, a violator can face a maximum jail sentence of six months if a person or property is physically damaged by a firework.

Here are a few safety tips to avoid injury—and arrest—this Independence Day:

  • Purchase fireworks from reliable vendors
  • Do not alter fireworks or attempt to make your own
  • Never use your pockets to store fireworks
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place
  • Responsible adults should handle fireworks
  • If children are present, adults need to be supervising them at all times
  • Do not aim or point fireworks at individuals and property
  • Do not attempt to re-ignite a “dud” firework
  • Always have a bucket of water or running hose nearby in case a fire breaks out

At Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh, our Raleigh criminal defense legal team would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July!

If you have been arrested for a violating the NC fireworks law, contact us today.


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