Only 1 state in the US completely bans consumer fireworks

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(NEXSTAR) – Firework laws are always a bit confusing for Americans ahead of the Fourth of July. Are you allowed to set them off? What kinds of fireworks can you legally purchase? It’s a state-by-state mess that nobody seems to understand.

For the most part, the purchase and use of fireworks are permitted throughout the U.S. According to World Population Review, consumer fireworks can be purchased in 49 of the 50 states, with various different laws and restrictions.

Legal consumer fireworks typically include Roman candles, sparklers, poppers, snakes, helicopters, ground spinners, and multiple-tube fireworks. They must have fewer than 50mg of gunpowder and follow other regulations.

These types of fireworks must also have fuses that burn for at least three seconds but no more than nine seconds, to help prevent them from exploding in the face of the person who is lighting them.

Only one state completely bans the purchase and use of consumer fireworks — Massachusetts. As of June 2020, the Bay State is the only state remaining where all fireworks are illegal for private use. This includes everything from sparklers to firecrackers. Just about anything that has a fuse, emits sparks, or has the ability to explode is considered illegal.

The ban dates all the way back to 1943 during World War II, when Massachusetts banned fireworks as a measure for the war, according to the Worcester Telegram.

As for the rest of the country, 15 states do not allow the purchase and use of aerial or explosive fireworks–meaning only items like sparklers or poppers are considered legal. Three other states are regulated at the county level, meaning you’ll need to check your local laws.

That leaves 31 other states where the purchase and use of consumer fireworks is fully legal.

If you plan to set off consumer fireworks, the American Pyrotechnics Association reminds U.S. residents that even though it might be legal, fireworks can cause serious injuries if not used safely and properly.

Some tips for keeping safe include having a sober adult in charge of the fireworks, reading and following instructions on the label before using the fireworks, keeping spectators a safe distance away before igniting, along with many more.

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