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Is it legal to shoot fireworks in the Wilmington area?

Kellen Moore

Bad news for pyromaniacs — fireworks aren’t legal in North Carolina. An N.C. statute forbids anyone from making, buying, selling, transporting or even possessing them in the state.

The law does allow milder pyrotechnics that are hand-held or sit on the ground, such as sparklers, party poppers, smoke bombs, toy pistol caps, fountains and devices with less than 200 grams of chemical compound.

“A good rule of thumb is if it spins, leaves the ground in any way, shoots, then it’s illegal,” said Kristin Milam, director of public information for the N.C. Office of the State Fire Marshal.

Anyone who breaks the law could be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor or a class 1 misdemeanor if the fireworks are indoors.

N.C. residents also can’t get around the law by bringing fireworks back from neighboring South Carolina, where they are legal.

But Wilmington-area residents hankering for fireworks can still attend professional displays, which require a permit from the county board of commissioners or the town.

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3 Responses to “ Is it legal to shoot fireworks in the Wilmington area?”

  1. On June 24, 2009 at 8:36 pm charles blanton wrote:

    In addition I believe there is a city ordinance that forbids shoot ANY type of firework, including the legal ones, within the downtown area…… I know people that got a ticket for that without knowing.

  2. On June 26, 2009 at 12:46 pm Judy Royal wrote:

    We will look into this city ordinance and update the post if necessary. Thanks for bringing that to our attention.

  3. On July 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm rg wrote:

    What can be done about neighbors in New hanover that shoot off ROCKETS (professional size fireworks) from their driveway. This goes on in our subdivision all nite from leas 4 diferent homes. Same ones every year! If one calls police they do not show up!! Shakes windows…Keeps up my elderly parent & out Dog goes crazy! Just not right! And no one does a thing!

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