Sure, fireworks are fun, but it’s important to be cautious and careful. We covered firework laws in the 2008 and 2014, but a few things have changed. Below are Texas’ top 10 firework laws you need to be aware of before lighting the fuse. Remember though, laws may vary county to county.
Top 10 Texas Firework Laws
- New for 2016: The periods for selling fireworks were expanded by the Texas Legislature. Fireworks can now be sold from June 24th through July 4th and December 20th through January 1st. Each county commissioner’s court can also permit firework sales for Texas Independence Day (February 25th-March 2nd), San Jacinto Day (April 16th-21st) and Memorial Day (the Wednesday before Memorial Day through Memorial Day). If the retail fireworks store is located within 100 miles of the Texas-Mexico border, the store can also sell from May 1-5 for Cinco de May—as long as the county commissioner’s court approved the sale.
- It’s illegal to sell or shoot fireworks within 100 feet of a place where flammable liquids, flammable compressed gasses or fireworks are sold or stored. …seems reasonable!
- Despite what you may have seen in the movies, it’s illegal to shoot fireworks from or towards a motor vehicle, including boats.
- It’s illegal to shoot fireworks from a public roadway, public property, park, lake or U.S. Corps of Engineer Property. …would hate to set a lake on fire…
- The minimum age to buy or sell fireworks is generally 16 years old. Though, it should probably be closer to 26 years old.
- It’s illegal to shoot fireworks within 600 feet of a church, hospital, day-care center or school. Personally, I wouldn’t feel great about going into surgery with a constant barrage of fireworks outside the building.
- It’s illegal to shoot fireworks within city limits and, in many cities, it’s also illegal to possess them. Selling, igniting or possessing fireworks within city limits can carry hefty fines approaching $2,000. Yet, country clubs keep getting away with it.
- In unincorporated areas where fireworks are legal, you may only shoot off fireworks if you own property there, or if you receive written permission from a property owner. A county “burn ban” outside incorporated areas often means a prohibition against shooting fireworks. So, no blowing up the neighbor’s mailbox…without their permission!
- If you start a fire by shooting fireworks and it’s found to be started intentionally, you may be charged for arson. If the fire is found to be accidental, you may be subject to a fine. In either case, you could be held civilly liable for damages.
- Beginning January 2, 2008, bottle rockets (a.k.a. pop rockets) were banned. You know you’re addicted to fireworks if you built up a reserve supply of bottle rockets prior to the ban.
Here’s a list of fireworks shows in DFW this holiday weekend. Have a great (and safe) Independence Day!