The July fourth holiday is fast approaching and vendors will soon be selling fireworks. The Boise Fire Department wants to remind everyone that only safe and sane fireworks are legal in Idaho.
Idaho law prohibits the sale of special (aerial) fireworks to the general public. The applicability of this law was confirmed by a 2017 analysis from the Office of the Idaho Attorney General. A signed affidavit or other promise to take special fireworks out of state does not comply with the Idaho law that limits the sale of special fireworks to exporters. This was clarified in January 2018 through a follow up analysis prepared at the request of Senator Maryanne Jordan (D17). This analysis addresses the practice of asking a purchaser to sign an affidavit of his or her intent to use special fireworks outside the state of Idaho.
The analysis concludes that under Idaho law, this practice is illegal. The clarification states, “A sale of special fireworks to a person who merely promises to take them to another state to use them there does not constitute an ‘export’ of fireworks or ‘interstate commerce’ as those terms are used in Idaho Code §39-2610(6). Sale of special fireworks by a wholesaler, based solely on a purchaser’s representation that he or she intends to take them to another state for use there, is not permitted by 39-2610(6) and is illegal.”
Under Idaho law, there is no loophole. When special fireworks are sold to a purchaser signing an affidavit stating that he or she intends to use them outside Idaho, that sale is illegal. It is illegal in Idaho to sell fireworks that are not safe and sane to the general public.
“Under Idaho law, it is illegal to sell aerial fireworks to the general public, except under very limited circumstances, if you do choose to use fireworks that are not safe and sane the consequences can be devastating. Wildfires put the lives of first responders and citizens at stake, this law can better protect Idaho citizens, their homes and our firefighters who risk their lives battling these fires,” said Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan.
The Boise Fire Department wants firework vendors to know that they can be held responsible if an illegal firework sold from their stand causes a fire. Citizens can also be held responsible for paying restitution if a wildfire sparks due to fireworks. Recently, a teen who started a major wildfire with fireworks in the Columbia River Gorge was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of nearly $37 million dollars.
The City of Boise hosts an impressive fireworks show at Ann Morrison Park on the Fourth of July. This is a great opportunity to see an impressive fireworks display. The event is free to the public and starts at 10:15 p.m. on July 4. For more information, click here.
The Boise Fire Department will host a press conference at 1:00 p.m. on June 6 on the corner of Parkcenter and E. Barber Valley to further discuss the implications of the Attorney General’s opinion regarding illegal fireworks. Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan will be accompanied by members of the community adversely affected by the use of illegal fireworks in Idaho.