Are Fireworks Legal in North Carolina? (2024)

The answer is both Yes and No. Read below to learn the details.

For millions of Americans, July 4th means cookouts, pool parties, parades, and of course fireworks. However, North Carolina has many strict laws which regulate fireworks use.

North Carolina Firework Laws

So, many Tarheels cross the state line to South Carolina, where the laws are not as restrictive. In fact, almost all fireworks are legal in the Palmetto State. Bear in mind, however, that it is illegal to transport fireworks across state lines. So, don’t buy them there and shoot them here. You will be in even more trouble.

Legal Fireworks in North Carolina

If you want to buy and use fireworks in North Carolina, only the following items are legal to possess and use:

  • Fountains
  • Smoke devices
  • Snappers
  • Glowworms
  • Sparklers
  • Poppers
  • Snakes
  • Novelty items which do not explode, fly, spin, or leave the ground

Illegal Fireworks in North Carolina

All other kinds of fireworks are illegal in North Carolina. It’s not a defense to say that you bought them from a vendor. This list includes:

  • Roman candles
  • Firecrackers
  • Aerial fireworks
  • Bottle rockets
  • Firecrackers
  • Mortars
  • All fireworks which explode or are projected into the air

Age Restrictions for Fireworks in North Carolina

Children under the age of 16 cannot legally buy or use fireworks in North Carolina. Any violation is a misdemeanor which carries a maximum $500 fine. Prosecutors enhance charges if the fireworks cause any physical damage to people or property. In these instances, there is a maximum six-month jail term.

To help you avoid physical injury and legal problems during the July 4th holiday, our defense lawyers have put together the following safety list:

  • Only buy fireworks from a reliable vendor
  • Do not make alterations to fireworks or try to make your own
  • Do not use your pockets to store fireworks, even for a few moments,
  • Always store fireworks in cool, dry places
  • Only responsible adults should handle fireworks
  • If children are nearby, an adult should closely supervise them at all times
  • Never point or aim fireworks at property or people
  • Do not try to re-ignite any “dud” fireworks
  • Always keep a running hose or bucket of water close at hand in case of fire

Speak with our Attorneys if You’re Facing Firework-Related Charges in Wake County

At Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh, Attorneys at Law, our Raleigh criminal defense lawyers would like to wish everyone a happy and safe 4th of July! If you have been arrested in Wake County for violating the North Carolina fireworks law or any other laws, contact us today for a free case review by filling out our online contact form or calling (919) 845-6688.