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Introduced Version Senate Bill 5 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted
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Senate Bill No. 5

(By Senator Bailey)

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[Introduced January 9, 2008; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §11-12-87; and to amend and reenact §29-3-23 and §29-3-24 of said code, all relating to legalizing and regulating the sale and use of fireworks.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §11-12-87; and that §29-3-23 and §29-3-24 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 11. TAXATION.

ARTICLE 12. BUSINESS REGISTRATION TAX.

§11-12-87. Fireworks registration fee.

The Tax Commissioner shall establish an annual "Fireworks Registration Fee" to be charged to all West Virginia licensed businesses desiring to sell fireworks authorized for sale in section twenty-three, article three, chapter twenty-nine of this code. This fee shall run concurrent with the business registration certificate set forth in section five of this article, and not be prorated. A business shall pay twenty dollars for each registration and shall be issued a sticker or card by the Tax Commissioner to be posted in a conspicuous position at the location of the business paying the registration fee. This fee shall be collected for each separate location where fireworks are sold. The Tax Commissioner may, at his or her discretion, require a separate certificate which shall be posted as set forth in this section, or provide that the evidence of compliance with this section may be by a stamp or language added to the business registration certificate or by embossing or writing imprinted on the business registration certificate.

CHAPTER 29. MISCELLANEOUS BOARDS AND OFFICERS.

ARTICLE 3. FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL ACT.

§29-3-23. "Fireworks" defined; labels required.
The following items are considered fireworks and require a business registration fee be paid in order to be offered for sale, as provided in section eighty-seven, article twelve, chapter eleven of this code. The term "fireworks" means and includes any combustible or explosive composition, or any substance or combination of substances, or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation and shall include includes blank cartridges, toy pistols, toy cannons, toy canes or toy guns in which explosives are used, the type of unmanned balloons which require fire underneath to propel the same, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, daygo bombs or other fireworks of like construction and any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound or any tablets or other device containing any explosive substance, except that the term "fireworks" shall does not include:
Model rockets and model rocket engines, designed, sold and used for the purpose of propelling recoverable acro models and shall not include toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices in which paper or plastic caps manufactured in accordance with the United States Department of Transportation regulations for packing and shipping of toy paper or plastic caps are used and toy paper or plastic caps manufactured as provided therein, the sale and use of which shall be is permitted at all times. Each package containing toy paper or plastic caps offered for retail sale shall be labeled to indicate the maximum explosive content per cap.
The following sparklers and novelties shall not be considered are not fireworks and require a business registration fee be paid to be authorized to sell, as provided for in section eighty-six, article twelve, chapter eleven of this code:
(1) Explosive caps designed to be fired in toy pistols, provided that the explosive mixture of the caps shall does not exceed twenty-five hundredths of a grain for each cap.
(2) Snake and glow worms composed of pressed pellets of a pyrotechnic mixture that produce a large snake-like ash when burning.
(3) Smoke devices consisting of a tube or sphere containing a pyrotechnic mixture that produces white or colored smoke.
(4) Trick noisemakers which produce a small report designed to surprise the user and which include:
(A) A party popper, which is a small plastic or paper item containing not in excess of twenty-five hundredths of a grain of explosive mixture. A string protruding from the device is pulled to activate the device, expelling paper streamers and producing a small report.
(B) A string popper which is a small tube containing not in excess of twenty-five hundredths of a grain of explosive mixture with string protruding from both ends. The strings are pulled to activate the friction-sensitive mixture, producing a small report.
(C) A snapper or drop pop, which is a small paper wrapped item containing no more than twenty-five hundredths of a grain of explosive mixture coated on small bits of sand. When dropped, the device produces a small report.
(5) Wire sparklers consisting of wire or stick coated with nonexplosive pyrotechnic mixture that produces a shower of sparks upon ignition. These items must may not exceed one hundred grams of mixture per item.
(6) Other sparkling devices which emit showers of sparks and sometimes a whistling or crackling effect when burning, do not detonate or explode, are hand-held or ground-based, cannot propel themselves through the air and contain not more than seventy-five grams of chemical compound per tube or not more than a total of two hundred grams if multiple tubes are used. Provided, That Sparklers and sparkler devices as provided for herein shall in this section may not be sold to anyone below the age of sixteen fourteen years old.
§29-3-24. Sale, possession or use of fireworks; permit for public display.

Except as hereinafter provided, no person, firm, co-partnership or corporation shall offer for sale, possess, expose for sale, sell at retail, keep with intent to sell at retail, or use or explode any fireworks: Provided, That
(a) The State Fire Marshal may issue permits to buy and set off fireworks. To obtain a permit a person must successfully complete a two-hour fireworks safety training course, created and provided by the State Fire Marshal. The State Fire Marshal shall charge a twenty dollar fee for the permit, which is valid for five years. All fireworks permit fees received by the State Fire Marshal shall be deposited into a special account for the operation of the State Fire Commission. A person must be eighteen years old to obtain a permit and to purchase or set off fireworks. A person at least fourteen years old may set off fireworks under adult supervision if the supervising adult possesses a fireworks permit.
(b) The State Fire Marshal may adopt propose reasonable rules and regulations for legislative approval for the granting of permits for the supervised displays of fireworks by municipalities, fair associations, amusement parks and other organizations or groups of individuals. The State Fire Marshal shall have has the authority to charge a fee of ten twenty dollars to each applicant requesting a license to be a pyrotechnic operator as set forth in this article. The State Fire Marshal shall charge a scaled fee for all applications requesting permits to establish a pyrotechnics display as provided in this section. All fees required to be paid by the provisions of this section shall be paid to the State Fire Marshal and thereafter deposited by him into a special account for the operation of the State Fire Commission. Such The permits may be granted upon application to said the State Fire Marshal and after approval of the local police and fire authorities of the community wherein where the display is proposed to be held as provided herein in this section and the filing of a bond by the applicant as provided hereinafter in this section.
(c) Every such A fireworks display shall be handled by a competent operator licensed or certified as to competency by the State Fire Marshall and shall be of such composition, character, and so located, discharged or fired as in the opinion of the chief of the fire department, after proper inspection, and of the chief of police as to not be hazardous to property or endanger any person or persons. After such the privilege shall have has been granted, the sale, possession, use and distribution of fireworks for such the display shall be lawful for that purpose only. No permit granted hereunder shall be under this section is transferable.
(d) (1) The governing body or chief executive authority of the municipality shall require a bond from the licensee in a sum not less than one thousand dollars conditioned on compliance with the provisions of this article and the regulations rules of the State Fire Commission. Provided, That No municipality shall be is required to file such bond.
(2) Before any permit for a pyrotechnic display shall be is issued, the person, firm or corporation making the application therefor shall furnish proof of financial responsibility to satisfy claims for damages to property or personal injuries arising out of any act or omission on the part of such the person, firm or corporation or any agent or employee thereof, in such an amount, character and form as the State Fire Marshall determines to be necessary for the protection of the public.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to legalize and regulate the selling of fireworks.

§11-12-87 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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