Understanding fireworks regulations in Gwinnett County
– July 4, 2018
Gwinnett residents can responsibly enjoy fireworks year round by following some regulations meant to preserve peace and safety.
In 2015, the use and sale of fireworks such as firecrackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets, and mortars was legalized in Georgia. However, House Bill 727 limits when and where fireworks can be used.
Georgia law allows its residents and visitors to set off fireworks between 10:00am and 9:00pm. On special occasions, those hours are extended.
- On July 3 and 4, fireworks can be set off until midnight.
- On New Year’s Eve, fireworks can be set off through midnight and until 1:00am on January 1.
Local governments in Georgia cannot ban the use of fireworks, but they can extend hours, regulate where fireworks are sold through zoning, and enact taxes on sales.
The use of fireworks is forbidden on roads and highways, in parks, and within 100 yards of a hospital, nursing home, or prison.
Fireworks are not permitted to be ignited within 100 yards of fire danger locations, including gas stations, electric plants, airports, public or private electric substations, and water treatment facilities. Anyone who violates this regulation is liable for any damage caused by the fireworks.
Authorities recommend leaving fireworks to professionals. However, all fireworks classified as consumer fireworks (those that meet certain criteria regarding composition, quantity, and stability of pyrotechnic material) are legal to purchase and use. Consumer fireworks include:
- Bottle rockets
- Sky rockets
- Roman candles
- Smoke and punk
- Crackle and strobe
- Wheels and spinners
- Sky flyers
- Display shells
- Aerial items (cakes)
Please keep in mind that it is illegal to use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol. It is also illegal to ignite fireworks if you are under the age of 18. Furthermore, no one under the age of 16 is allowed to possess consumer fireworks.
If you do decide to purchase and use consumer fireworks, please read over our safety tips here prior to setting them off to keep your family, friends, and community safe during the celebration.
To amend Chapter 10 of Title 25 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to regulation of fireworks, so as to subject the use or ignition of consumer fireworks to general noise ordinances of counties and municipal corporations in certain circumstances; to provide for conditions; to provide for meeting notice requirements; to revise procedures and requirements concerning consumer fireworks for a drought declaration; to require certain signs in the retail display area for consumer fireworks; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes } Chapter 10 of Title 25 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to regulation of fireworks, is amended by revising Code Section 25-10-2, relating to prohibited fireworks activities, as follows: ◦ (3)(B)(i) On any day beginning at the time of 10:00 A.M. and up to and including the ending time of 9:00 P.M.; ◦ (ii) On any day after the time of 9:00 P.M. and up to and including the time of 11:59 P.M. if such use or ignition is lawful pursuant to any noise ordinance of the county or municipal corporation of the location in which such use or ignition occurs, unless during such times the noise from such use or ignition is not in compliance with a noise ordinance of a county or municipal corporation as provided for in subsection (c) of this Code section, except as otherwise provided for under this subparagraph; provided, however, that a county or municipal corporation may additionally require the issuance of a special use permit pursuant to subparagraph (D) of this paragraph for use or ignition; ◦ (iii)(ii) On January 1, the last Saturday and Sunday in May, July 3, July 4, the first Monday in September, and December 31 of each year after the time of 9:00 P.M.10:00 A.M. and up to and including the time of 11:59 P.M.; and ◦ (iv)(iii) On January 1 of each year beginning at the time of 12:00 Midnight and up to and including the ending time of 1:00 A.M ◦ (E) Whenever the Governor issues a declaration of drought, the Governor may, for the boundaries of the area covered by such declaration, enact further regulations and restrictions concerning the use of consumer fireworks than provided for under this chapter; provided, however, that no such further regulations or restrictions on the use of consumer fireworks shall be effective pursuant to this subparagraph on January 1, July 3, July 4, or December 31 of any year; provided, further, that such further regulations or restrictions shall only apply to the exact boundaries of the area covered by such declaration and shall only apply with regard to the ignition of consumer fireworks; and provided, further, that upon expiration or conclusion of such declaration, such further regulations or restrictions shall be rescinded by law. Whenever the Keetch-Byram Drought Index reaches a level of 700 or above for any geographical area within a county, the Governor may, in consultation with the State Forestry Commission and the Department of Natural Resources and for purposes of this Code section, issue a declaration of drought for such county and enact further regulations and restrictions prohibiting any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership to ignite or cause to be ignited consumer fireworks within the boundaries of such county for the duration of such declaration; provided, however, that upon expiration or conclusion of such declaration or the level on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index receding below 700, whichever occurs first, such further regulations or restrictions shall be rescinded by law. ◦ (c) Any noise ordinance of a county or municipal corporation which is to have effect for purposes of subdivision (b)(3)(B)(i) shall have been enacted or reenacted on or after July 1, 2018, and shall: ◦ (1) Be a general noise ordinance concerning all manner of sounds or noises and such county or municipal corporation shall not have any ordinance separately pertaining to sounds or noises emanating exclusively from consumer fireworks; and ◦ (2) Not have been enacted or reenacted unless notice of the meeting in which such noise ordinance was enacted or reenacted was published one time at least 15 days in advance of such meeting in the legal organ of such county or municipal corporation and was posted for at least 72 hours at least 15 days in advance of such meeting on the homepage of the official website of such county or municipal corporation. Such notice shall state the date, time, and place of such meeting and that such noise ordinance which will affect the use of consumer fireworks will be acted upon. } Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 25-10-5.1, relating to requirements for issuance of license to distribute consumer fireworks, by adding a new subsection to read as follows: ◦ (e)(1) Every licensed distributor selling consumer fireworks pursuant to this Code section shall have within the retail display area for consumer fireworks at least one sign providing the following information: ◦ (A) 'PLEASE CHECK YOUR LOCAL ORDINANCES PRIOR TO USING OR IGNITING CONSUMER FIREWORKS'; ◦ (B) 'PLEASE USE CONSUMER FIREWORKS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR AFFIXED CAUTION AND WARNING LABELS'; and ◦ (C) 'PLEASE BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR AND BE MINDFUL THAT UNANNOUNCED IGNITION NEAR SOME MILITARY VETERANS AND OTHER PERSONS AND NEAR SOME PETS CAN BE TRAUMATIC'. ◦ (2) Such signs shall be at least 22 inches by 28 inches in size, be printed in at least 40 point boldface type in a color contrasting from such sign's background color, and kept free from obstruction and in plain sight of customers."