Senate Bill No. 5
(By Senator Bailey)
[Introduced January 9, 2008; referred to the Committee on the
Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
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
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
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
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
(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
(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
§29-3-24. Sale, possession or use of fireworks; permit for public
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.
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