5 things to know about Georgia's new fireworks law

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5 things to know about Georgia's new fireworks law

An assortment of laws passed by the Georgia legislature legalized the purchase and use of fireworks in the state.

The first series of laws enacted in 2015 outline where and when fireworks can be used and purchased. Lawmakers passed additional laws during the 2016 legislative session restricting the personal use of fireworks.

1. House Bill 100, authored by Jay Roberts (R-Ocilla), allows Georgians to legally purchase fireworks, including sparklers, roman candles and bottle rockets, in the state.

2. The law stipulates that fireworks may only be lit between 10 a.m. and midnight, and those purchasing fireworks must be 18 years of age or older. Around New Year's Day and Independence Day, the time extends until 2 a.m. Local governments are not permitted to enact any additional legislation on top of what the bill outlines.

3. Previously, consumers have had to travel to bordering states, such as Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee, for fireworks. As a result of the bill, several businesses are making planes to open stores in metro Atlanta, pending application approval from the state Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner. 

4. Those wishing to light up their own fireworks will pay an extra 5 percent at the register, in addition to regular state and local sales taxes.

5. Firework enthusiasts are not allowed to light within 100 yards of a nuclear power plant or gasoline station and are liable for any damage they cause. Authorities recommend leaving the fireworks to professionals who are accustomed to potential hazards.

Update: In 2016, the Georgia legislature added a new law that would restrict when and where fireworks could be used.

It carves out exceptions to allow the use of fireworks until 1 a.m. on New Year’s and midnight on Fourth of July. The measure, House Bill 727, also bans people from igniting fireworks on roads and highways and within 100 yards of a hospital, nursing home and prisons. It took effect immediately.

In November 2016, Gov. Nathan Deal issued an executive order banning the use of fireworks in much of the state due to the ongoing drought. The ban was lifted in late December.

It carves out exceptions to allow the use of fireworks until 1 a.m. on New Year’s and midnight on Fourth of July. The measure, House Bill 727, also bans people from igniting fireworks on roads and highways and within 100 yards of a hospital, nursing home and prisons. It took effect immediately.

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