Local Arkansas laws for use and sale of fireworks

Ty Thompson
Press Argus-Courier

Arkansas has different laws pertaining to the sale and possession of certain fireworks, but different cities within the state have their own regulations. 

Arkansas, as a state, allows for the private use of fireworks but this does not affect the power of municipalities. 

Cities like Fort Smith, Alma, and Van Buren do not allow for the private use of fireworks within the city limits. The sale of fireworks is also prohibited within the limits of these cities.

The city of Greenwood allows for the use of fireworks in a small window at the beginning of July. On July 3-5 from noon to midnight, Greenwood allows fireworks to be used within the city limits. 

Public displays of fireworks are allowed in these cities but require a permit. Typically, cities or various organizations will put on their own firework displays with professional oversight and approval from a fire marshal.

These laws are left up to the cities and the state in Crawford and Sebastian counties. On any private property, not owned by the county, residents may use fireworks outside of the nearby city limits.

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The laws and regulations differ between local cities for the use and sale of fireworks.

Roman candles, skyrockets, helicopter rockets, cylindrical and cone fountains, wheels, torches, colored fire, dipped sticks, mines, and shells, firecrackers with soft casings, and novelties are all legal to use in the state. 

The only fireworks prohibited are M-80s, M-100s, quarter sticks, cherry bombs,  and silver salutes as they are federally illegal. 

"If we were in a dry spell, and issued a burn ban, there would be a ban on fireworks also," Dennis Gilstrap, Crawford County judge said. "We are not under those conditions this year."

People who violate these ordinances can be fined upwards of $500. 

Jeff Pointer, Alma police chief, said there's a small window where they actually receive calls regarding fireworks.

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"We normally only get a few calls up until about July 1-5, those days we normally respond to about 10-12 calls a day," Pointer said. 

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission's 2019 report on firework incidents, fireworks were involved with an estimated 10,000 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. Fireworks also start an estimated 18,500 fires per year.