Can PA Residents Buy Fireworks?

Ask Mel



Dear Mel,

I live in Pa. How come I can't buy fireworks even though there are stores all over the state?

Johnny P. Thompson, PA



Dear Johnny P.,

What an awesome question! So many people are confused by this and by many of the laws governing fireworks. The fact of the matter is, you CAN buy fireworks if you live in Pennsylvania! There are just a couple of things you need to know and do to make this happen. 

First things first. If you are a PA resident you can easily buy most ground items, fountains, sparklers and novelties. Here at Mess's we put up orange "PA O.K." stickers on the description signs for your convenience.This makes grabbing the right fireworks a no brainer! A ground item is a firework that does not have a lift charge to send it upward into the air before it explodes. It sits upon the earth or a driveway or is nailed to a post and spins, sparks and/or smokes. A fountain stays low to the ground, though there are some that reach as high as 30 feet! These fireworks send sparks flying upward with loud crackles or whistles or quiet lava like effects. Some even toss bees and other objects off of them. A novelty can be anything from a toy tank to a pop pop snapper or a smoke bomb. Of course we all know what sparklers are! Any of these items can be purchased just by using your photo id proving that you are at least 18 years old.

Now comes the fun part! PA residents cannot buy firecrackers or any aerial firework unless they have a PA Permit. Once you have a permit you are allowed to buy anything in the store! I mean anything! Permits are very easy to come by. Just click here, go to our home page to find the link or come on in to Mess's. The permit application is free. Then take your application and have it signed by a Fire Chief, Mayor, Superintendant or anyone else in your county, township or borough that has such authority. It has to be someone from the area you plan on having your show in. It is probably easier than you think. Many of your friends, relatives or neighbors hold government positions. Ask around to find out. Fill it all out...bring it on in and then the real fun begins!

So you see, even people that live in PA can have a blast of a 4th of July, a Bigger Better Birthday Party, Killer New Years Eve or a Stupendous Backyard Occasion any 'ol time they choose.  You just have to know what you now know to have a great show!

Keep it kickin' Johnny P.


Mel works at Mess's Fireworks and has been in the business of fireworks for over 15 years. Got a fireworks question? Ask Mel...If she doesn't know the answer, nobody does.