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Police & Fire

Here’s what happens if you’re caught with illegal fireworks in NJ

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

PUBLIC SAFETY: For those who need a reminder, state officials have begun schooling people about New Jersey fireworks laws, while warning: Don’t think about going to Pennsylvania.

In short, “it is unlawful to sell, offer for sale, possess, or use fireworks anywhere in [New Jersey] without a valid permit, issued by a municipality for a public fireworks display,” under state law.

A valid permit must “name one person who shall be authorized to purchase, or otherwise order, and receive delivery of any fireworks.”

The sale, possession, and use of fireworks must be for the permitted display only, under the law.

Anyone caught violating the law can be charged with a fourth-degree disorderly-persons offense. And while it doesn’t carry jail time, you face serious fines and a criminal record.

“Fireworks displays are a fun and potentially awe-inspiring part of the way Americans celebrate Independence Day and enjoy the summer,” said Eric T. Kanefsky, director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “But they must be enjoyed responsibly and legally.”

He cited a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that 60% of all fireworks injuries occurred within the 30 days surrounding the Fourth of July holiday.

More than half involved burns to the hands, head, and face.

Also: More than 5,000 consumers were treated in hospital emergency rooms due to fireworks-related injuries between June 22 and July 22, 2012, the CPSC said.

Kanefsky also warned New Jerseyans against crossing state lines to buy fireworks. Six years ago, four Pennsylvania-based fireworks companies agreed to revise their business practices when advertising and selling to New Jersey customers after the DCA sued them.

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