PRINTER'S NO. 998
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
825
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY TOMLINSON, MARTIN, SCAVELLO, COLLETT, PHILLIPS-
HILL, BAKER, BROWNE, AUMENT, COMITTA AND CAPPELLETTI,
JULY 20, 2021
REFERRED TO AGRICULTURE AND RURAL AFFAIRS, JULY 20, 2021
AN ACT
Amending Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes, providing for fireworks; and making a related
repeal.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 3 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
is amended by adding a chapter to read:
CHAPTER 11
FIREWORKS
Sec.
1101. Definitions.
110 2. Use of display fireworks.
1103. Request for extension.
1104. Use of consumer fireworks.
1105. Agricultural purposes.
1106. Rules and regulations by municipality.
1107. Sales locations.
1108. Fees, granting of licenses and inspections.
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110 9. Conditions for facilities.
1110. (Reserved).
1111. Attorney General.
1112. Consumer fireworks tax.
1113. Disposition of certain funds.
1114. Penalties.
1115. Removal, storage and destruction.
§ 110 1. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"APA 87-1." The American Pyrotechnics Association Standard
87-1: Standard for Construction and Approval for Transportation
of Fireworks, Novelties, and Theatrical Pyrotechnics, 2001
edition.
"Consumer fireworks."
(1) The term includes a ny combustible or explosive
composition or any substance or combination of substances
which is intended to produce visible or audible effects by
combustion, is suitable for use by the public, complies with
the construction, performance, composition and labeling
requirements promulgated by the Consumer Products Safety
Commission in 16 CFR (relating to commercial practices) or
any successor regulation and complies with the provisions for
"consumer fireworks" as defined in APA 87-1, the sale,
possession and use of which shall be permitted throughout
this Commonwealth.
(2) The term does not include devices such as "ground
and hand-held sparkling devices," "novelties" or "toy caps"
in APA 87-1, the sale, possession and use of which shall be
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permitted at all times throughout this Commonwealth.
"Display fireworks." As defined in 27 CFR 555.11 (relating
to meaning of terms).
"Municipality." A city, borough, incorporated town or
township.
"NFPA 1124." The National Fire Protection Association
Standard 1124, Code for the Manufacture, Transportation, Storage
and Retail Sales of Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles, 2006
edition.
"Tax Reform Code." The act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2),
known as the Tax Reform Code of 1971.
"Vehicle." Every device in, upon or by which any person or
property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway,
except devices used exclusively upon rails or tracks. The term
does not include a self-propelled wheelchair or an electrical
mobility device operated by and designed for the exclusive use
of a person with a mobility-related disability.
§ 110 2. Use of display fireworks.
(a) Prohibition.--No display fireworks shall be ignited
within 300 feet of a facility that meets the requirements of
section 1107 (relating to sales locations).
(b) Permit.--Permission shall be given by the governing body
of a municipality under reasonable rules and regulations for
displays of display fireworks to be held within the
municipality. After permission is granted, purchase, possession
and use of display fireworks shall be lawful for the use
outlined in the permit only. Permits shall not be transferable.
(c) Limitations.--Each use of display fireworks shall be:
(1) handled by a competent operator at least 21 years of
age; and
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(2) of a character and so located, discharged or fired
as, in the opinion of the chief of the fire department or
other appropriate officer as may be designated by the
governing body of the municipality, after proper inspection,
to not be hazardous to property or endanger any person.
(d) Bond.--The governing body of the municipality shall
r equire a bond deemed adequate by it from the permittee in a sum
not less than $1,000 conditioned for the payment of all damages
which may be caused to a person or property by reason of the use
of display fireworks and arising from an act of the permittee or
an agent, an employee or a subcontractor of the permittee.
§ 1103. Request for extension.
(a) Authorization.--If, because of unfavorable weather, the
fireworks display for which a permit has been granted does not
occur at the time authorized by the permit, the person to whom
the permit was issued may within 24 hours apply to the
municipality for an extension of a permit.
(b) Contents of request.--The request for extension shall
state under oath that the fireworks display was not made,
provide the reason that the display was not made and request a
continuance of the permit for a date designated within the
request.
(c) Determination.--Upon receiving the request for
extension, the municipality, if it believes that the facts
stated within the request are true, shall extend the provisions
of the permit to the date designated within the request.
(d) Conditions.--The extension of time shall be granted
without the payment of an additional fee and without requiring a
bond other than the bond given for the original permit, the
provisions of which shall extend to and cover all damages which
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may be caused by reason of the fireworks display occurring at
the extended date and in the same manner and to the same extent
as if the display had occurred at the date originally designated
in the permit.
(e) Nonapplicability.--This section shall not apply to
permits issued for agricultural purposes.
§ 1104. Use of consumer fireworks.
(a) Conditions.--A person who is at least 18 years of age
may purchase, possess and use consumer fireworks.
(b) Prohibitions.--A person may not intentionally use
consumer fireworks:
(1) On public or private property without the express
permission of the owner or entity that controls the property.
(2) Within, directed at or directed from a vehicle or
building.
(3) Directed at another person.
(4) While the person is under the influence of alcohol,
a controlled substance or another drug.
(5) Within 150 feet of a building or vehicle.
(6) Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m.,
except:
(i) on July 2, 3 and 4 and December 31, when
consumer fireworks may be used until 1:00 a.m. the
following day; and
(ii) when July 4 falls on a Tuesday, Wednesday or
Thursday, consumer fireworks may be used until 1:00 a.m.
on the immediately preceding and following Friday and
Saturday.
§ 1105. Agricultural purposes.
(a) Authorization.--The governing body of a municipality
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may, under reasonable rules and regulations adopted by it, grant
permits for the use of display fireworks for agricultural
purposes in connection with the raising of crops and the
protection of crops from bird and animal damage.
(b) Duration of permit.--A permit under this section shall
remain in effect for the calendar year in which it was issued.
(c) Conditions.--After a permit under this section has been
granted, sales, possession and use of display fireworks for the
purpose mentioned in the permit shall be lawful for that purpose
only.
§ 1106. Rules and regulations by municipality.
(a) Authorization.--
(1) Except for the limitations under subsection (b), a
municipality may enact conditions, prohibitions and
limitations on the use of consumer fireworks that are not in
conflict with this chapter.
(2) Notwithstanding a valid license issued by the
department on the effective date of this section, a
municipality may enact conditions, prohibitions and
limitations on the sale of consumer fireworks that are not in
conflict with this chapter.
(b) Limitations.--No municipality shall restrict or regulate
the use of consumer fireworks on the following days:
(1) The days listed in section 1104(b)(6) (relating to
use of consumer fireworks).
(2) Memorial Day, including the immediately preceding
Saturday and Sunday.
(3) Labor Day, including the immediately preceding
Saturday and Sunday.
§ 1107. Sales locations.
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Consumer fireworks shall be sold only from facilities which
are licensed by the Department of Agriculture and that meet the
following criteria:
(1) The facility shall comply with the provisions of the
act of November 10, 1999 (P.L.491, No.45), known as the
Pennsylvania Construction Code Act.
(2) The facility shall be a stand-alone, permanent
structure.
(3) Storage areas shall be separated from wholesale or
retail sales areas to which a purchaser may be admitted by
appropriately rated fire separation.
(4) The facility shall be located no closer than 250
feet from a facility selling or dispensing gasoline, propane
or other flammable products.
(5) For facilities licensed after the effective date of
this section, the facility shall be located at least 1,500
feet from another facility licensed to sell consumer
fireworks.
(6) The facility shall have a monitored burglar and fire
alarm system.
(7) Quarterly fire drills and preplanning meetings shall
be conducted as required by the primary fire department.
(8) The facility shall comply with the requirements of
NFPA 1124.
§ 1108. Fees, granting of licenses and inspections.
(a) Initial application fees.--
(1) An initial application for a license to sell
consumer fireworks shall be submitted to the Department of
Agriculture on forms prescribed and provided by the
department with a nonrefundable application fee as follows:
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(i) For a facility meeting the requirements of
section 1107 (relating to sales locations), the
application shall be submitted with a nonrefundable
application fee of $2,500.
(ii) (Reserved).
(2) An application under paragraph (1) shall also be
accompanied by the appropriate annual license fee as provided
in subsection (b).
(b) Annual license fees.--The annual license fee for a
facility licensed to sell consumer fireworks shall be as
follows:
(1) $7,500 for a location up to 10,000 square feet;
(2) $10,000 for a location greater than 10,000 and up to
15,000 square feet; and
(3) $20,000 for a location greater than 15,000 square
feet.
(c) Time limitations and inspections.--
(1) A facility meeting the requirements of section 1107
shall be inspected by the Department of Agriculture within 30
days of receipt of a complete application for a license. The
Department of Agriculture shall issue or deny a license
within 14 days of completing the inspection.
(2) (Reserved).
(d) Term of license.--A license issued for the sale of
consumer fireworks shall be effective for one year from the date
the license is issued.
(e) License renewal and inspections.--License renewal shall
be automatic upon payment of the appropriate annual license fee
under subsection (b), but each facility shall be subject to
annual inspections by the Department of Agriculture and at other
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times as the department may deem appropriate.
(f) Condition.--No license may be issued to a convicted
felon or to an entity in which a convicted felon owns a
percentage of the equity interest.
§ 110 9. Conditions for facilities.
A facility licensed by the Department of Agriculture under
section 1108 (relating to fees, granting of licenses and
inspections) shall be exclusively dedicated to the storage and
sale of consumer fireworks and related items, and the facility
shall operate in accordance with the following rules:
(1) There shall be security personnel on the premises
for the seven days preceding and including July 4 and on
December 31.
(2) No smoking shall be permitted in the facility.
(3) No cigarettes or tobacco products, matches, lighters
or any other flame-producing devices shall be permitted to be
taken into the facility.
(4) No minors shall be permitted in the facility unless
accompanied by an adult, and each minor shall stay with the
adult in the facility.
(5) All facilities shall carry at least $2,000,000 in
public and product liability insurance.
(6) A licensee shall provide its employees with
documented training in the area of operational safety of a
facility. The licensee shall provide to the Department of
Agriculture written documentation that each employee has
received the training.
(7) No display fireworks or federally illegal explosives
under 49 CFR 173.54 (relating to forbidden explosives) shall
be stored or located at a facility.
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(8) No person who appears to be under the influence of
intoxicating liquor or drugs shall be admitted to the
facility, and no liquor, beer or wine shall be permitted in
the facility.
(9) Emergency evacuation plans shall be conspicuously
posted in appropriate locations within the facility.
(10) Written notice shall be conspicuously posted or
provided with each purchase of consumer fireworks that
provides the conditions and prohibitions for use of consumer
fireworks under section 1104 (relating to use of consumer
fireworks), and that additional conditions, prohibitions and
limitations may be implemented by a municipality.
§ 1110. (Reserved).
§ 11 11. Attorney General.
An entity which performs, provides or supervises fireworks
displays or exhibitions for profit shall register annually with
the Attorney General in accordance with 37 Pa. Code Ch. 711
(relating to registration for fireworks displays).
§ 11 12. Consumer fireworks tax.
(a) Imposition.--In addition to any other tax imposed by
law, a tax is imposed on each separate sale at retail of
consumer fireworks, which tax shall be collected by the retailer
from the purchaser at the time of sale and shall be paid over to
the Commonwealth as provided in this section. A tax imposed
under this subsection on each separate sale at retail shall be
paid to and received by the Department of Revenue and, along
with interest and penalties, shall be deposited into the General
Fund.
(b) Rate.--The tax authorized under subsection (a) shall be
imposed and collected at the rate of 12% of the purchase price
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per item sold. The purchase price shall not include State and
local sales taxes.
(c) Collection and administration.--The provisions of Part
VI of Article II of the Tax Reform Code shall apply to the tax
authorized under subsection (a). No additional fee shall be
charged for a license or license renewal other than the license
or annual license fee required under section 1108 (relating to
fees, granting of licenses and inspections) and the license or
renewal fee authorized and imposed under Article II of the Tax
Reform Code.
§ 11 13. Disposition of certain funds.
(a) Transfer.--One-sixth of the tax collected under this
chapter in a fiscal year, not to exceed $2,000,000, shall be
transferred annually for use as follows:
(1) Seventy-five percent of the amount transferred under
this subsection shall be used for the purpose of making
grants under 35 Pa.C.S. Ch. 78 Subch. C (relating to
Emergency Medical Services Grant Program).
(2) Twenty-five percent of the amount transferred under
this subsection shall be deposited into a special account in
the State Treasury designated as the Online Training Educator
and Training Reimbursement Account for the purposes of
developing, delivering and sustaining training programs for
volunteer firefighters in this Commonwealth.
(3) The Office of the State Fire Commissioner shall
establish guidelines for use of the money deposited under
paragraph (2). By December 31, 2022, and each December 31
thereafter, the Office of the State Fire Commissioner shall
provide a written report detailing the use of the money
received from the prior fiscal year to the chairperson and
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minority chairperson of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs
Committee of the Senate, the chairperson and minority
chairperson of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of
the House of Representatives, the chairperson and minority
chairperson of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency
Preparedness Committee of the Senate and the chairperson and
minority chairperson of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency
Preparedness Committee of the House of Representatives.
(b) Payments.--The transfer required under subsection (a)
shall be made by September 15, 2022, and each September 15
thereafter.
§ 11 14. Penalties.
The following shall apply:
(1) A person using consumer fireworks in violation of
the provisions of this chapter for the first offense commits
a summary offense and, upon conviction, shall, in addition to
any other penalty authorized by law, be punishable by a fine
of not less than $100. A subsequent offense under this
paragraph committed within one year of a prior conviction
under this paragraph shall constitute a misdemeanor of the
third degree and, upon conviction, shall, in addition to any
other penalty authorized by law, be punishable by a fine of
not less than $500.
(2) A person selling consumer fireworks in violation of
the provisions of this chapter for the first offense commits
a misdemeanor of the second degree and, upon conviction,
shall, in addition to any other penalty authorized by law, be
punishable by a fine of not less than $5,000. A subsequent
offense under this paragraph committed within one year of a
prior conviction under this paragraph shall constitute a
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misdemeanor of the first degree and, upon conviction, in
addition to any other penalty authorized by law, shall be
punishable by a fine of not less than $10,000.
(3) A person selling display fireworks in violation of
the provisions of this chapter for the first offense commits
a felony of the third degree and, upon conviction, shall, in
addition to any other penalty authorized by law, be
punishable by a fine of not less than $10,000. A subsequent
offense under this paragraph committed within one year of a
prior conviction under this paragraph shall constitute a
felony of the second degree and, upon conviction, shall, in
addition to any other penalty authorized by law, be
punishable by a fine of not less than $15,000.
(4) A person selling federally illegal explosives such
as devices as described in 49 CFR 173.54 (relating to
forbidden explosives) or those devices that have not been
tested, approved and labeled by the United States Department
of Transportation, including, but not limited to, those
devices commonly referred to as M-80, M-100, blockbuster,
cherry bomb or quarter-stick or half-stick explosive devices,
in violation of the provisions of this chapter for the first
offense commits a felony of the third degree and, upon
conviction, shall, in addition to any other penalty
authorized by law, be punishable by a fine of not less than
$10,000. A subsequent offense under this paragraph committed
within one year of a prior conviction under this paragraph
shall constitute a felony of the second degree and, upon
conviction, shall, in addition to any other penalty
authorized by law, be punishable by a fine of not less than
$15,000.
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§ 11 15. Removal, storage and destruction.
The Pennsylvania State Police, a municipal police officer as
defined in 42 Pa.C.S. § 8951 (relating to definitions) who holds
a current certificate under 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 21 Subch. D (relating
to municipal police education and training), a sheriff or a
deputy shall take, remove or cause to be removed at the expense
of the owner all stocks of consumer fireworks or display
fireworks or combustibles offered or exposed for sale, stored or
held in violation of this chapter. The owner shall also be
responsible for the storage and, if deemed necessary, the
destruction of these fireworks.
Section 2. Repeals are as follows:
(1) The General Assembly declares that the repeal under
paragraph (2) is necessary to effectuate the addition of 3
Pa.C.S. Ch 11.
(2) Article XXIV of the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6,
No.2), known as the Tax Reform Code of 1971, is repealed.
Section 3. The addition of 3 Pa.C.S. Ch 11 is a continuation
of Article XXIV of the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known
as the Tax Reform Code of 1971. Except as otherwise provided in
3 Pa.C.S. Ch 11, all activities initiated under Article XXIV of
the Tax Reform Code of 1971 shall continue and remain in full
force and effect and may be completed under 3 Pa.C.S. Ch 11.
Orders, regulations, rules and decisions which were made under
Article XXIV of the Tax Reform Code of 1971 and which are in
effect on the effective date of section 2 of this act shall
remain in full force and effect until revoked, vacated or
modified under 3 Pa.C.S. Ch 11. Contracts, obligations and
collective bargaining agreements entered into under Article XXIV
of the Tax Reform Code of 1971 are not affected nor impaired by
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the repeal of Article XXIV of the Tax Reform Code of 1971.
Section 4. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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