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Originally published: 2014-07-02 10:35:24
Last modified: 2014-07-02 10:36:07

Our View: Keeping your boom down low

Thinking about a quick trip across the border to purchase your Fourth of July fireworks?

Think again.

North Carolina has fairly restrictive fireworks laws. Indeed, our rules are much more restrictive than our neighbors to the south and west. While many types of fireworks illegal to purchase in North Carolina are legal to purchase in South Carolina and Tennessee, it is still against the law to ignite them in the Old North State.

And while what is legal and what isn't can be confusing, a good rule of thumb is that if it leaves the ground, it is not legal in North Carolina -- but include also in that list firecrackers and fireworks that spin on the ground.

That still leaves plenty of July 4th entertainment. In addition to town and theme park displays, such as the annual celebration at Tweetsie Railroad, poppers, sparklers, fountains and other items that don't explode, spin or fly through the air are sanctioned for personal enjoyment -- provided you personally enjoy them while following safety rules and guidelines.

If you go against those rules, you can face a misdemeanor charge, with punishments ranging from a $500 fine to as many as six months imprisonment.

That's a fairly stiff penalty, but a penalty that's in place for a reason. 

The point is that using fireworks illegally in North Carolina is nothing to play around with.