Substitute Senate Bill No. 1111

Public Act No. 99-24

An Act Concerning Fireworks Displays.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 29-357 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, no person, firm or corporation shall offer for sale, expose for sale, sell at retail or use or explode or possess with intent to sell, use or explode any fireworks.

(b) The State Fire Marshal [may] shall adopt reasonable regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, for the granting of permits for supervised displays of fireworks or for the indoor use of pyrotechnics for special effects by municipalities, fair associations, amusement parks, other organizations or groups of individuals or artisans in pursuit of their trade. Such permit may be issued upon application to said State Fire Marshal and after (1) inspection of the site of such display or use by the local fire marshal to determine compliance with the requirements of such regulations, (2) approval of the chiefs of the police and fire departments, or, if there is no police or fire department, of the first selectman, of the municipality wherein the display is to be held as is provided in this section, and (3) the filing of a bond by the applicant as provided in section 29-358. No such display shall be handled or fired by any person until such person has been granted a certificate of competency by the State Fire Marshal, in respect to which a fee of fifty dollars shall be payable to the State Treasurer when issued and which may be renewed every three years upon payment of a fee of thirty dollars to the State Treasurer, provided such certificate may be suspended or revoked by said marshal at any time for cause. Such certificate of competency shall attest to the fact that such operator is competent to fire a display. Such display shall be of such a character and so located, discharged or fired as in the opinion of the [chief of the fire department] chiefs of the police and fire departments or such selectman, after proper inspection, will not be hazardous to property or endanger any person or persons. In an aerial bomb, no salute, report or maroon may be used that is composed of a formula of chlorate of potash, sulphur, black needle antimony and dark aluminum. Formulas that may be used in a salute, report or maroon are as follows: [(1)] (A) Perchlorate of potash, black needle antimony and dark aluminum and [(2)] (B) perchlorate of potash, dark aluminum and sulphur. No high explosive such as dynamite, fulminate of mercury or other stimulator for detonating shall be used in any aerial bomb or other pyrotechnics. Application for permits shall be made in writing at least fifteen days prior to the date of display, on such notice as the State Fire Marshal by regulation prescribes, on forms furnished by him, and a fee of thirty-five dollars shall be payable to the State Treasurer with each such application. After such permit has been granted, sales, possession, use and distribution of fireworks for such display shall be lawful for that purpose only. No permit granted hereunder shall be transferable. Any permit issued under the provisions of this section may be suspended or revoked by the State Fire Marshal or the local fire marshal for violation by the permittee of any provision of the general statutes, any regulation or any ordinance relating to fireworks.

(c) The State Fire Marshal may grant variations or exemptions from, or approve equivalent or alternate compliance with, particular provisions of any regulation issued under the provisions of subsection (b) of this section where strict compliance with such provisions would entail practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship or is otherwise adjudged unwarranted, provided any such variation, exemption, approved equivalent or alternate compliance shall, in the opinion of the State Fire Marshal, secure the public safety and shall be made in writing.

(d) Any person, firm or corporation violating the provisions of this section shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than ninety days or be both fined and imprisoned, except that any person, firm or corporation violating the provisions of subsection (a) of this section by offering for sale, exposing for sale or selling at retail or possessing with intent to sell any fireworks with a value exceeding ten thousand dollars shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

Sec. 2. Section 29-364 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

No person, firm or corporation may engage in the business of manufacturer, wholesaler, dealer or jobber of fireworks, under the provisions of section 29-361, until such manufacturer, wholesaler, dealer or jobber has received a license therefor for each location where the business is to be conducted. All licenses shall be issued upon receipt of the application therefor upon license forms provided by the State Fire Marshal, which forms shall include such information as said marshal requires. The State Fire Marshal shall prescribe the number of copies of each license form to be executed and the distribution of such copies. No license shall be issued until the location has been inspected by the licensing authority and unless reasonable precautions have been taken to eliminate hazards to life and property. All licenses issued under the provisions of this section shall be used only by the person, firm or corporation to whom they are issued and shall not be transferable. The State Fire Marshal may refuse to issue such a license if the State Fire Marshal determines that the applicant has previously been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor as a result of a violation of any provision of state or federal law relating to the use, transport, sale, manufacture, storage or possession of explosives, fireworks, explosive devices, illegal drugs or controlled substances. Any license issued under the provisions of this section may be suspended or revoked by the licensing authority, after notice and opportunity for hearing, for any violation by the licensee of any provision of the general statutes or any regulation or ordinance relating to fireworks or conviction of such licensee of any felony or misdemeanor as a result of a violation of any provision of state or federal law relating to the use, transport, sale, manufacture, storage, or possession of explosives, fireworks, explosive devices, illegal drugs or controlled substances.

Approved May 12, 1999

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