GEORGIA
Title 25. Fire Protection and Safety
Chapter 10. Regulation of Fireworks
§25-10-1. Definitions
      (a) As used in this chapter, the term:
      (1) “Consumer fireworks” means any small fireworks devices containing
restricted amounts of pyrotechnic composition, designed primarily to produce visible or
audible effects by combustion, that comply with the construction, chemical composition,
and labeling regulations of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission as
provided for in Parts 1500 and 1507 of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the
United States Department of Transportation as provided for in Part 172 of Title 49 of the
Code of Federal Regulations, and the American Pyrotechnics Association as provided for
in the 2001 American Pyrotechnics Association Standard 87-1, and additionally shall
mean Roman candles.
      (2) “Consumer fireworks retail sales facility” shall have the same meaning as
provided for by NFPA 1124.
      (3) “Consumer fireworks retail sales stand” shall have the same meaning as
provided for by NFPA 1124.
      (4) “Distributor” means any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership
which sells consumer fireworks.
      (5) “Fireworks” means any combustible or explosive composition or any
substance or combination of substances or article prepared for the purpose of producing a
visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation, including
blank cartridges, firecrackers, torpedos, skyrockets, bombs, sparklers, and other
combustibles and explosives of like construction, as well as articles containing any
explosive or flammable compound and tablets and other devices containing an explosive
substance.
      (6) “NFPA 1124” means the National Fire Protection Association Standard 1124,
Code for the Manufacture, Transportation, Storage, and Retail Sales of Fireworks and
Pyrotechnic Articles, 2006 Edition.
      (7) “Nonprofit group” means any entity exempt from taxation under Section
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
      (8) “Proximate audience” means an audience closer to pyrotechnic devices than
permitted by the National Fire Protection Association Standard 1123, Code for Fireworks
Display, as adopted by the Safety Fire Commissioner.
      (9) “Pyrotechnics” means fireworks.
      (10) “Retail chain” means a person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership
with more than one store, where all such stores are collectively known to the public by
the same name or share central management.
      (11) “Store” shall have the same meaning as provided for by NFPA 1124.
      (b) As used in this chapter, the term “consumer fireworks” or “fireworks” shall
not include:
      (1) Model rockets and model rocket engines designed, sold, and used for the
purpose of propelling recoverable aero models, toy pistol paper caps in which the
explosive content averages 0.25 grains or less of explosive mixture per paper cap or toy
pistols, toy cannons, toy canes, toy guns, or other devices using such paper caps; nor shall
the term “consumer fireworks” or “fireworks” include ammunition consumed by weapons
used for sporting and hunting purposes; and
      (2) Wire or wood sparklers of 100 grams or less of mixture per item; other
sparkling items which are nonexplosive and nonaerial and contain 75 grams or less of
chemical compound per tube or a total of 500 grams or less for multiple tubes; snake and
glow worms; smoke devices; or trick noise makers which include paper streamers, party
poppers, string poppers, snappers, and drop pops each consisting of 0.25 grains or less of
explosive mixture.
§25-10-2. Prohibited fireworks activities
      (a) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, association, or
partnership to offer for sale at retail or wholesale, to use or explode or cause to be
exploded, or to possess, manufacture, transport, or store any consumer fireworks or
fireworks, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
      (b)(1) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, it shall be
unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership to sell consumer
fireworks or any items defined in paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 25-10-
1 to any person under 18 years of age.
      (2) It shall be unlawful to sell consumer fireworks or any items defined in
paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 25-10-1 to any person by any means
other than an in-person, face-to-face sale. Such person shall provide proper identification
to the seller at the time of such purchase. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “proper
identification” means any document issued by a governmental agency containing a
description of the person or such person’s photograph, or both, and giving such person’s
date of birth and includes without being limited to a passport, military identification card,
driver’s license, or identification card authorized under Code Sections 40-5-100 through
40-5-104.
      (3)(A) It shall be unlawful to use fireworks, consumer fireworks, or any items
defined in paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 25-10-1 indoors.
      (B) Except as provided for in subparagraph (D) of this paragraph and subject to
paragraph (4) of this subsection, it shall be lawful for any person, firm, corporation,
association, or partnership to use or explode or cause to be exploded any consumer
fireworks on any day between the hours of 10:00 A.M. and 12:00 Midnight only;
provided, however, that it shall be lawful for any person, firm, corporation, association,
or partnership to use or explode or cause to be exploded any consumer fireworks on
January 1, July 3, July 4, and December 31 of each year between the hours of 12:00
Midnight and 2:00 A.M.
      (C) Subject to paragraph (4) of this subsection, it shall be lawful for any person,
firm, corporation, association, or partnership to use or explode or cause to be exploded
any consumer fireworks anywhere in this state except:
      (i) As provided for under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph;
      (ii) In any location where such person, firm, corporation, association, or
partnership is not lawfully present or is not otherwise lawfully permitted to use or
explode or cause to be exploded any consumer fireworks; or
      (iii) Within 100 yards of a nuclear power facility or a facility engaged in the retail
sale of gasoline or the production, refining, processing, or blending of gasoline for such
retail purposes.
      (D) Any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership may use or explode
or cause to be exploded any consumer fireworks on any day at a time not provided for
under subparagraph (B) of this paragraph if such person, firm, corporation, association, or
partnership is issued a special use permit pursuant to the law of a governing authority of a
county or municipal corporation for the use or explosion of consumer fireworks in a
location within such county or municipality at a time not provided for under
subparagraph (B) of this paragraph. Such special use permit shall designate the time or
times and location that such person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership may use
or explode or cause to be exploded such consumer fireworks. A fee assessed by a county
or municipal corporation for the issuance of a special use permit pursuant to this
subparagraph shall not exceed $100.00. No governing authority or official of a county,
municipality, or other political subdivision shall bear liability for any decisions made
pursuant to this Code section.
      (4)(A) It shall be lawful for any person 18 years of age or older to use or explode
or cause to be exploded or to possess, manufacture, transport, or store consumer
fireworks.
      (B) To the extent otherwise permitted by law, it shall be lawful for any person
who is 16 or 17 years of age to possess or transport consumer fireworks, provided that
such person is serving as an assistant to a distributor licensed under subsection (c) of
Code Section 25-10-5.1 or the nonprofit group benefiting from such distributor’s
application pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 25-10-5.1 and is not transporting
such consumer fireworks on a highway which constitutes a part of The Dwight D.
Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways.
      (5)(A) It shall be lawful for any person 18 years of age or older to sell or to offer
for sale at retail or wholesale any consumer fireworks pursuant to the requirements of this
chapter.
      (B) It shall be lawful for any person who is 16 or 17 years of age to sell or to offer
for sale at retail or wholesale any consumer fireworks, provided that such person is
serving as an assistant to a distributor licensed under subsection (c) of Code Section 25-
10-5.1 or the nonprofit group benefiting from such distributor’s application pursuant to
subsection (c) of Code Section 25-10-5.1.
      (6) (A) It shall be lawful to sell consumer fireworks from a permanent consumer
fireworks retail sales facility or store only if such permanent consumer fireworks retail
sales facility or store is:
      (i) In compliance with the requirements for such a permanent consumer fireworks
retail sales facility or store in the selling of consumer fireworks as provided for in NFPA
1124; and
      (ii) Selling consumer fireworks of a distributor licensed pursuant to subsection (b)
or (d) of Code Section 25-10-5.1.
      (B) It shall be lawful to sell consumer fireworks from a temporary consumer
fireworks retail sales stand only if such temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand
is:
      (i) In compliance with the requirements for such a temporary consumer fireworks
retail sales stand in the selling of consumer fireworks as provided for in NFPA 1124;
      (ii) Within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant of a county, municipality, or other political
subdivision or a fire department connection of a building affiliated with such consumer
fireworks retail sales stand, unless the chief administrative officer of the fire department
of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision or chartered fire department
legally organized to operate in this state pursuant to Chapter 3 of this title and having
operational authority over such location of the temporary consumer fireworks retail sales
stand provides in writing that such temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand may
operate in excess of 1,000 feet from such fire hydrant or fire department connection; and
      (iii) Selling consumer fireworks of a distributor licensed pursuant to subsection
      (c) of Code Section 25-10-5.1. No distributor licensed pursuant to subsection (c) of Code
Section 25-10-5.1 shall at any one time operate more than two temporary consumer
fireworks retail sales stands for each license issued to such distributor under subsection
      (b) or (d) of Code Section 25-10-5.1, except that a distributor which is a retail chain and
which is licensed pursuant to subsection (d) of Code Section 25-10-5.1 shall not at any
one time operate more than two temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stands for
each store of such retail chain. Such temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stands
shall be located within the same county as the location of such permanent consumer
fireworks retail sales facility or store provided for under subsection (b) or (d) of Code
Section 25-10-5.1; provided, however, that if a county does not have a distributor
licensed pursuant to subsection (b) or (d) of Code Section 25-10-5.1 offering consumer
fireworks for sale from a permanent consumer fireworks retail sales facility or store
within its boundaries, then a distributor licensed pursuant to subsection (b) or (d) of Code
Section 25-10-5.1 offering consumer fireworks for sale from a permanent consumer
fireworks retail sales facility or store within 75 miles of the perimeter of the boundaries
of such county may locate one of the two temporary consumer fireworks retail sales
stands in the unserved county.
      (C) It shall be unlawful to sell consumer fireworks from any motor vehicle or
from a trailer towed by a motor vehicle.
§25-10-3. Permitted sales and uses of fireworks
      Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the following:
      (1) The wholesale or retail sale of fireworks for use in a public exhibition or
public display and the transportation of fireworks for such use, provided that any person
selling at wholesale or retail or transporting fireworks for such use must have a duplicate
copy of the permit which has been issued by the judge of the probate court to a person,
firm, corporation, association, or partnership which has been authorized to hold a public
exhibition or display, and provided, further, that the seller maintains and makes available
for inspection by the Safety Fire Commissioner or the designee thereof the record of any
such fireworks sale for a period of 18 months from the date of sale;
      (2) Use by railroads or other transportation agencies of fireworks specifically
designed and intended for signal purposes or illumination;
      (3) The sale or use of blank cartridges for a show or theater or for signal or
ceremonial purposes in athletic or sports events or for use by military or police
organizations; or
      (4) The manufacture of any fireworks not prohibited by Congress or any federal
agency; the possession, transportation, and storage of any such fireworks by any
manufacturer thereof; the storage of certain such fireworks by a nonmanufacturer in
accordance with the provisions of Code Section 25-10-3.1; the possession, transportation,
or distribution of any such fireworks to a distributor located outside this state; the sale of
such fireworks by any such manufacturer to a distributor located outside this state; or the
possession and transportation of such fireworks by any manufacturer or contractor or
common carrier from the point of manufacture within this state to any point outside this
state.
§ 25-10-5.1. Requirements for issuance of license to distribute consumer fireworks
      (a)(1) A license pursuant to this Code section shall only be issued to a distributor
that:
      (A) Complies with all the requirements of this chapter; and
      (B) Maintains at all times public liability and product liability insurance with
minimum coverage limits of $2 million to cover the losses, damages, or injuries that
might ensue to persons or property as a result of selling consumer fireworks.
      (2) Any person who knowingly and willfully makes a false, fictitious, or
fraudulent statement of representation in an application executed pursuant to this Code
section shall be guilty of a violation of Code Section 16-10-20.
      (b)(1) The initial license fee for a distributor selling consumer fireworks from a
permanent consumer fireworks retail sales facility shall be $5,000.00 per location,
payable to the Safety Fire Commissioner. Upon a finding that a distributor has met the
requirements of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section and upon payment of
such license fee, such initial license shall be issued by the Safety Fire Commissioner and
shall identify the permanent consumer fireworks retail sales facility applicable to such
license. Such initial license shall expire on January 31 of the year after such initial license
was issued. After such initial license, such distributor may annually renew such initial
license for $1,000.00 per year, payable to the Safety Fire Commissioner. Upon finding
that a distributor has met the requirements of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code
section and upon payment of such license fee, such annual license shall be issued by the
Safety Fire Commissioner and shall identify the permanent consumer fireworks retail
sales facility applicable to such license. Such annual license shall expire on January 31 of
each year; provided, however, that a distributor shall not apply for an annual license
earlier than 30 days prior to the expiration of an initial license or annual license.
      (2) The determination by the Safety Fire Commissioner of whether a distributor
has met requirements for the issuance of a license required by this subsection shall be
made within 15 days of the submission of an application for any such license. Such
application shall be in writing and, if the Safety Fire Commissioner provides for a written
form for the application for a license pursuant to this Code section, upon such form as
may be provided by the Safety Fire Commissioner. If a determination has not been made
within the time provided for by this paragraph, or for an appeal of a determination by the
Safety Fire Commissioner, a distributor may seek review from the judge of the probate
court of the county of the location or proposed location of the permanent consumer
fireworks retail sales facility. Such judge may provide for the issuance or nonissuance of
a license and for the payment of license fees in such manner as is consistent with the
provisions of this subsection.
      (c)(1) The license fee for a distributor selling consumer fireworks from a
temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand shall be $500.00 per location, payable to
the governing authority of the county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this
state in whose boundaries such temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand shall be
located or is proposed to be located. Upon finding that a distributor has met the
requirements of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section, has a license
pursuant to subsection (b) or (d) of this Code section for a location applicable to the
location of such temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand as provided for in
subparagraph (b)(6)(B) of Code Section 25-10-2, has no more than the allowable
temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stands pursuant to subparagraph (b)(6)(B) of
Code Section 25-10-2, that the sales of consumer fireworks from such temporary
consumer fireworks retail sales stand shall accrue to the benefit of a nonprofit group, and
upon payment of such license fee, such license shall be issued by the fire department of
the county, municipality, or other political subdivision or the chartered fire department
legally organized to operate in this state pursuant to Chapter 3 of this title and having
operational authority of the area in which such temporary consumer fireworks retail sales
stand shall be located or is proposed to be located; provided, however, that no such
license shall be issued prior to January 1, 2016. Such license shall identify the temporary
consumer fireworks retail sales stand applicable to such license and shall expire 90 days
after the issuance of such license.
      (2) A determination by a fire department as provided for under paragraph (1) of
this subsection of whether a distributor has met requirements for the issuance of a license
pursuant to this subsection shall be made within 15 days of the submission of an
application for any such license. Such application shall be in writing and, if such fire
department provides for a written form for the application for a license pursuant to this
Code section, upon such form as may be provided by such fire department. If a
determination has not been made within the time provided for by this paragraph, or for an
appeal of a determination by such fire department, a distributor may seek review from the
judge of the probate court of the county of the location or proposed location of the
temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand. Such judge may provide for the issuance
or nonissuance of a license and for the payment of license fees in such manner as is
consistent with the provisions of this subsection.
      (3) A nonprofit group benefiting from the sale of consumer fireworks pursuant to
this Code section shall directly participate in operating the temporary consumer fireworks
retail sales stand. It shall be unlawful for a nonprofit group or any agent or bona fide
representative of a nonprofit group to knowingly lend the name of the nonprofit group or
allow the identity of the nonprofit group to be used for the license under this subsection if
such nonprofit group is not directly participating in operating such temporary consumer
fireworks retail sales stand.
      (4) The governing authority of a county, municipality, or other political
subdivision receiving fees pursuant to this Code section shall expend such fees for public
safety purposes.
      (5) A distributor licensed pursuant to this subsection shall submit a list of the
names and addresses, including the counties, of each temporary consumer fireworks retail
sales stand at which such distributor has consumer fireworks offered for sale pursuant to
this Code section to the Safety Fire Commissioner. Such list shall be submitted by
January 31 of each year and such distributor shall amend such list, or file an initial list if
such distributor first becomes licensed after January 31 of a particular year, within 45
days of having such distributor’s consumer fireworks offered for sale at a location not
previously included on such list. The Safety Fire Commissioner shall make such list
publicly available for inspection. In making determinations as provided for under this
subsection, fire departments shall reference the list provided for by this paragraph.
      (d)(1) The initial license fee for a distributor selling consumer fireworks from a
store shall be $5,000.00, payable to the Safety Fire Commissioner, provided that, if a
store is a retail chain, one payment of $5,000.00 shall satisfy such license fee for each
store of the retail chain. Upon finding that a distributor has met the requirements of
paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section, such initial license shall be issued by
the Safety Fire Commissioner and, if issued to a store which is a retail chain, shall be a
license for each current or future store of the retail chain. Such initial license shall expire
on January 31 of the year after such initial license was issued. After such initial license,
such distributor may annually renew such initial license for $1,000.00 per year, payable
to the Safety Fire Commissioner, provided that, if a store is a retail chain, one payment of
$1,000.00 shall satisfy such license fee for each store of the retail chain. Upon finding
that a distributor has met the requirements of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code
section, such annual license shall be issued by the Safety Fire Commissioner and, if
issued to a store which is a retail chain, shall be a license for each current or future store
of the retail chain. Such annual license shall expire on January 31 of each year; provided,
however, that a distributor shall not apply for an annual license earlier than 30 days prior
to the expiration of an initial license or annual license.
      (2) The determination by the Safety Fire Commissioner of whether a distributor
has met requirements for the issuance of a license required by this subsection shall be
made within 15 days of the submission of an application for any such license. Such
application shall be in writing and, if the Safety Fire Commissioner provides for a written
form for the application for a license pursuant to this Code section, upon such form as
may be provided by the Safety Fire Commissioner. If a determination has not been made
within the time provided for by this paragraph, or for an appeal of a determination by the
Safety Fire Commissioner, a distributor may seek review from the judge of the probate
court of the county of the location or proposed location of the store from which consumer
fireworks will be sold. Such judge may provide for the issuance or nonissuance of a
license and for the payment of license fees in such manner as is consistent with the
provisions of this subsection.
§ 25-10-6. Fireworks manufactured, sold, or stored in violation of chapter declared
contraband; seizure and disposition thereof
      The state fire marshal shall enforce the provisions of this chapter. Applicable fire
departments of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision or a chartered fire
department shall refer cases for enforcement under subsection (c) of Code Section 25-10-
5.1 to the state fire marshal. All fireworks manufactured, offered for sale, exposed for
sale, or stored in violation of this chapter are declared to be contraband and may be
seized, taken, and removed, or caused to be removed and destroyed at the expense of the
owner thereof by the state fire marshal, the Georgia State Patrol, or any sheriff or local
police official.
§ 25-10-7. Applicability of provisions of chapter
      This chapter shall not apply to the high explosives covered by Code Section 25-2-
17 over which the Safety Fire Commissioner has regulatory control.
§ 25-10-8. Penalty for violations of chapter
      (a) Any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership that violates Code
Section 25-10-3.2 shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for
not less than two nor more than ten years, or by a fine of not more than $10,000.00, or
both.
      (b) Any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership that violates any
other provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
§ 25-10-9. Penalty for illegal sale of fireworks
      Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, any person, firm,
corporation, association, or partnership that knowingly violates this chapter may be
punished by a fine not to exceed $2,500.00. Each sales transaction in violation of this
chapter shall be a separate offense.
§ 25-10-10. Prohibition on release of certain fire-propelled devices into the air and
certain floating lantern devices into public water locations
      It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership
to release or cause to be released any balloon, bag, parachute, or other similar device
which requires fire underneath for propulsion or to release or cause to be released any
floating water lantern or wish lantern which uses a flame to create a lighting effect in any
public waterway, lake, pond, stream, or river.
O.C.G.A. § 36-60-24 (2015)
§ 36-60-24. Sale or use or explosion of consumer fireworks products
      (a) The governing authority of a county or municipal corporation shall not
prohibit the sale or use or explosion of consumer fireworks or products or services which
are lawful under subsection (b) of Code Section 25-10-1, unless such prohibition is
expressly authorized by general law.
      (b) If the sale of a product or service is regulated by Chapter 10 of Title 25, the
governing authority of a county or municipal corporation shall not enact additional
regulation of the sale or use or explosion of such product or service, unless such
additional regulation is expressly authorized by general law.
      (c) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section, the governing
authority of a county or municipal corporation may provide for permits or licenses for the
sale or use of consumer fireworks as provided for under subsection (c) of Code Section
25-10-5.1.
      (d) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section, the governing
authority of a county may further regulate the sale of consumer fireworks from temporary
consumer fireworks retail sales stands.
      (e) The governing authority of a county shall not unreasonably delay or deny an
application for a temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand.
      (f) For purposes of this subsection, the terms “consumer fireworks” and
“consumer fireworks retail sales stand” shall have the same meanings as provided in
Code Section 25-10-1.
      (g) Any ordinance enacted before, on, or after July 1, 2006, by a county or
municipal corporation in violation of this Code section is void.
O.C.G.A. § 48-13-130 (2015)
§ 48-13-130. Definitions
As used in this article, the term:
      (1) “Consumer fireworks” shall have the same meaning as provided for in Code
Section 25-10-1.
      (2) “Seller” means the person who is issued a license pursuant to Code Section
25-10-5.1.
§ 48-13-131. Excise tax imposed; rate of taxation; payment
      (a) An excise tax, in addition to all other taxes of every kind imposed by law, is
imposed upon the sale of consumer fireworks and any items provided for in paragraph (2)
of subsection (b) of Code Section 25-10-1 in this state at a rate of 5 percent per item sold.
      (b) The excise tax imposed by this article shall be paid by the seller and due and
payable in the same manner as would be otherwise required under Article 1 of Chapter 8
of this title.
§ 48-13-132. Civil penalty for violations
      A seller who knowingly and willfully violates the requirements of this article shall
be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $10,000.00 in addition to the amount of tax
due.