KINGMAN - With the new fireworks law now in effect, officials with the Kingman Fire Department are reminding residents that while it might be legal to buy and sell fireworks, it's still illegal to set them off within city limits.
The Arizona Legislature earlier this year approved the sale and use of non-aerial fireworks, such as sparklers, for those 16 and older. Previously, only novelty items like snakes and snappers were permitted.
As a result, many municipalities in the state, including Kingman, passed their own ordinances to regulate the use of the now permissible fireworks. Incorporated cities can regulate the use of fireworks but
not their sale. The Kingman ordinance, which took effect at the same time as the state law on Dec. 1, makes it a misdemeanor offense to shoot off fireworks in the city limits.
Residents will still be able to purchase fireworks in the city. Assistant Fire Marshal Keith Eaton said the Kingman Fire Department has already received several inquiries from vendors looking to sell fireworks in time for New Year's.
Eaton said most fire officials came out against the new state law before it was passed because of the potential for starting wildfires in dry conditions.
"We were against it for obvious reasons," he said. "This is only going to enhance the chances of a fire starting, and we're against fires."
No one has been approved yet, but Eaton said the vendors would go through the same licensing process as other business owners in the city. They will, however, be subject to stricter regulations because of the nature of what they're selling, which includes posting the Kingman ordinance and being subject to inspection.
Eaton said the Kingman Fire Department also plans to bill residents up to $2,500 for responding to calls that are the result of discharging fireworks within the city limits.
Aerial fireworks such as bottle rockets, roman candles and rockets with reports are still illegal in Arizona unless part of a permitted public display.