LITTLE ROCK, Ark – With July 4th in range on the calendar and tents being set up near the highways, it’s time to review fireworks laws in Arkansas.
In Arkansas, by state law, fireworks may be sold only between June 20 to July 10, and Dec. 10 through Jan. 5. Outside of those dates, pyrotechnics are allowed provided they have less than a quarter gram of explosive, such as what the law calls “smoke sticks,” sparklers or toy gun “caps.”
That’s the basic law. Counties and cities are allowed to come up with their own fireworks laws, including laws stricter than the state’s, or even outright prohibitions.
Here’s a list of laws throughout central Arkansas.
Faulkner County has no fireworks ordinance on its books, although the state law remains in effect.
Garland County does not allow fireworks during a burn ban, otherwise the state fireworks law applies.
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Jefferson County follows the state fireworks laws, with fines for violation beginning at $50 with imprisonment up to 90 possible.
Pulaski County is less restricted than its cities, with the county fireworks regulations in the Fire Chief’s Handbook being a verbatim copy of the state fireworks laws.
Saline County, like Pulaski, refers back to the state laws but reminds us that each of its cities has a fireworks ordinance.
Benton only allows fireworks to be set off from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on July 2 to 4 and must be used in a “safe and sane manner,” in the ordinance’s words, on private property, and never within 300 feet of a city park. Fines can reach $500 for each offense.
Bryant has the time and date restrictions at noon to 10 p.m. from July 3 to July 5, with the same “no” on setting off fireworks within 300 feet of a public park, or 1,000 feet of a hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility. The fire chief is allowed to issue a fireworks ban if dry conditions exist.
Cabot requires people to have a permit to set off fireworks inside the city. A permit may be granted for a fireworks display but even then the display has to be over by 11 p.m. and only take place between July 1 to 5.
Conway, like Little Rock, does not allow fireworks inside the city, either setting them off, owning them or selling them. Neighboring Greenbrier is slightly less restricted, permitting fireworks 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 3 to 5.
Hot Springs does not allow the use of fireworks inside the city limits unless the state fire marshall has issued a permit.
Jacksonville the sale or discharge of fireworks in the city is prohibited, with fines beginning at $250. The city does allow its 4th of July fireworks show at the shooting range every year.
Little Rock prohibits possessing fireworks, using them, or even storing them. The bottom line is no fireworks in Little Rock unless you have a license and are in the process of putting on a fireworks display. North Little Rock, like Little Rock, has the same rule: No fireworks, and possessing fireworks may lead to a $200 fine.
Maumelle also prohibits setting off fireworks in the city.
Pine Bluff does not allow anyone to set off fireworks in the city unless it is part of a patriotic display by an organization celebrating Independence Day. Alternatively, the police and fire department chiefs can authorize a display.
Searcy does not allow fireworks in the city limits, although organizations can get a permit for a fireworks display in a non-residential zone.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission reminds us that 74% of fireworks injuries in the nation take place over the July 4 weekend, a number which has steadily increased every year since 2008. The majority of these injuries come from firecrackers. Parents are reminded to supervise children and keep a bucket of water or garden hose handy when using fireworks.