SPARKLERS LEGAL IN ARIZONA, STARTING NOW

Light it up, but check rules first

2010-12-01T00:00:00Z Light it up, but check rules firstHoward Fischer Capitol Media Services Arizona Daily Star
December 01, 2010 12:00 am  • 

Now you can ignite a sparkler to celebrate the holiday of your choice or enjoy one on top of your birthday cake.

Legally.

A new state law that takes effect today allows sparklers in Arizona, putting this state in line with every other state west of the Mississippi River.

Aside from sparklers, lawmakers agreed to let people possess what are considered "consumer fireworks." That includes fountains that spray off sparks, ground spinners and toy smoke devices.

Still off limits, though, will be anything that explodes, such as firecrackers or M-80s.

And the new law does not allow anything that sends projectiles into the air, such as bottle rockets or Roman candles.

But the right to possess sparklers and related items is not absolute.

Retailers can't sell the items to anyone younger than 16, though nothing in the law precludes adults from giving the items to those who are younger.

And cities can opt out, at least when it comes to people being able to ignite the items legally. So the law gives each incorporated community the ability to enact local bans on sparkler use.

But they can't keep merchants from selling sparklers.

TNT Fireworks, a wholesale distributor of fireworks, has 10 billboards around Tucson advertising the online sale of fireworks and novelty items such as sparklers, according to Clear Channel Outdoor.

Most Arizona communities have chosen not to infringe on the ability of their residents to light up the devices.

Counties, unlike cities, don't have the same right to ban sparkler use. But the law does allow county supervisors to enact some limited restrictions, such as banning them "during times when there is a reasonable risk of wildfires in the immediate county."

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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