The Lumber Room

"Consign them to dust and damp by way of preserving them"


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Massachusetts General Law, Ch. 148 S. 39 – the simple possession or use of fireworks, or the selling or offering for sale of fireworks is against the law. A violation of this law shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year or both.

I wonder

  • if it’s the same in other states of the US as well
  • since when this has been so
  • what was considered sufficient provocation to enact this law
  • is there no one who considers this a violation of civil liberties
  • so who shoots all those fireworks that we went and watched on the Charles River yesterday, and why the law doesn’t apply to them
  • what, if anything, Indian/Hindu groups do at Diwali :)
  • what it would take to get something similar passed in India :)

I’m not complaining, just curious.

Update[2009-07-04]: This looks like a useful resource on fireworks laws:
States that “specifically permit” no fireworks are Arizona, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. Other states permit some fireworks (except that the laws of Hawaii and Oregon are not immediately clear).

Written by S

Sun, 2008-07-06 at 02:51:09

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Heh. The law differs from state to state. Apparently it’s legal to sell fireworks in New Hampshire, so people set up shop near the border so that Massachussetts residents can come and buy them as well. Courtesy the Colbert Report. :)


    For something like this to be passed in India, the reason somehow needs to be communal.


    Sun, 2008-07-06 at 05:47:38

  2. American laws can vary a lot from state to state. Even procedures related to presidential elections vary.

    I vaguely recall fireworks being banned in general in North Carolina, but with some sort of exception for the 4th of July.


    Sun, 2008-07-06 at 07:03:44

  3. @PS, P: Thanks!

    It is heartening to know that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is protecting us from fireworks :)

    This is also interesting: “In the United Kingdom fireworks […] not permitted to be set off between 11pm and 7am with exceptions only for New Year, Bonfire Night (5 November), the Chinese New Year and Diwali.”


    Sun, 2008-07-06 at 12:48:05

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