CSRA, Ga./ S.C. (WJBF)– It’s the second year that the people of Georgia can legally join the tradition of shooting off fireworks on Independence Day. I spoke with some Georgia and South Carolina homeowners to see just how much they know about fireworks laws.
“11 o’clock, I’m pretty sure. Ten o’clock? Nine? I’m like, it’s somewhere around dark,” Ty Templeton, A georgia fireworks user said.
“Probably not past midnight. Wait, you probably can the night of the 4th. Maybe tonight, the third,” Zachary Sweatman, another Georgia fireworks user said.
Those are the responses when asked what the cut off time is when shooting fireworks in Georgia on any given night– excluding holidays. A year after the state legalized the use of fireworks, Georgia adopted a law that restricts when and where they can be used. It’s now illegal to set off fireworks after 9 p.m. most of the year.
“Then on July 4th, do you know what the time is?” I asked. “Probably going to say around 12,” Templeton answered.
The new Georgia law carves out exceptions on holidays, so it’s safe to shoot fireworks on July 4th until 12 am.
Blake Arnold, an employee at Galaxy Fireworks, said you have to be a certain age to purchase them, though, in Georgia.
“We check I.D.’s for people who are 18 and older to make sure they are legal to buy and have fireworks on them,” Arnold explained.
Both Georgia and South Carolina laws outline illegal fireworks. For South Carolina, mini bottle rockets are illegal.
“They’re mass produced and cheaply made. They’re considered unsafe. Some kids were misusing them, so South Carolina decided to not allow those for South Carolina residents,” Skip Playford, manager of Wacky Wayne’s, explained.
South Carolina may have strict rules about mini fire rockets, but Tony Powell, a South Carolina native, said in his state, pretty much anything goes.
“Everything has just been legal. Just do it. I think a lot of the time in the cities you have a time limit, but everywhere else it’s just shoot the fireworks. Have fun and be safe,” Powell said.
In addition to those time restrictions, a new Georgia law bans people from igniting fireworks on roads and highways and within 100 yards of hospitals, nursing homes and prisons.