In June of 2017, Governor Christie signed a bill that legalized certain types of fireworks, just not any of the fun ones. As it stands now, if you’re 16 or older, you can buy hand held sparklers, ground based sparklers, poppers, and snappers.

Real fireworks like firecrackers, Roman candles, and bottle rockets are still illegal. Anything explosive or aerial is still verboten. So, if you’re into sparklers, your ship has come in. In Pennsylvania, however, lawmakers last year legalized all manner of fireworks for adults 18 and older. Pennsylvania’s old law was like New Jersey’s new one, mainly restricting fireworks to sparklers. Now in PA you can buy real firecrackers, and aerial fireworks, as long as they comply with the federal restrictions applicable to consumers. You can’t set them off within 150 feet of an occupied structure or if you’re drunk.

You may be wondering why Pennsylvania lawmakers would legalize explosives and, one of the answers is the usual one for politicians: money. Fireworks in Pennsy have a 12 percent tax on them, on top of the six percent sales tax. New Jersey is so heavily regulated I can’t see the legislature ever legalizing them, but if Pennsylvania rakes in a windfall this year from the tax, maybe New Jersey will follow.

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