Sec. 29-356. Definitions.
As used in sections 29-356 to 29-365, inclusive:
(1) "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 includes blank cartridges, toy pistols, toy cannons, toy canes or toy guns in which explosives are used, the type of balloons which require fire underneath to propel the same, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, Roman candles, Daygo bombs, 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 not include sparklers and fountains and toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices in which paper caps manufactured in accordance with the regulations of the United States Interstate Commerce Commission or its successor agency for packing and shipping of toy paper caps are used and toy pistol paper caps manufactured as provided therein.
(2) "Sparklers" means a wire or stick coated with pyrotechnic composition that produces a shower of sparks upon ignition.
(3) "Fountain" means any cardboard or heavy paper cone or cylindrical tube containing pyrotechnic mixture that upon ignition produces a shower of colored sparks or smoke. "Fountain" includes, but is not limited to, (A) a spike fountain, which provides a spike for insertion into the ground, (B) a base fountain which has a wooden or plastic base for placing on the ground, or (C) a handle fountain which is a handheld device with a wooden or cardboard handle.
Sec. 29-357. Sale, use and possession of fireworks prohibited. Sale, use and possession of certain sparklers or fountains permitted. Permits for display. Variations or exemptions. Penalty.
(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. A person who is sixteen years of age or older may offer for sale, expose for sale, sell at retail, purchase, use or possess with intent to sell or use sparklers or fountains of not more than one hundred grams of pyrotechnic mixture per item, which are nonexplosive and nonaerial, provided (1) such sparklers and fountains do not contain magnesium, except for magnalium or magnesium-aluminum alloy, (2) such sparklers and fountains containing any chlorate or perchlorate salts do not exceed five grams of composition per item, and (3) when more than one fountain is mounted on a common base, the total pyrotechnic composition does not exceed two hundred grams. (b) The State Fire Marshal 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, sparklers and fountains 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 two hundred dollars shall be payable to the State Treasurer when issued and which may be renewed every three years upon payment of a fee of one hundred ninety 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 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: (A) Perchlorate of potash, black needle antimony and dark aluminum, and (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 one hundred 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 (1) 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, and (2) any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of subsection (b) of this section or any regulation adopted thereunder shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor, except if death or injury results from any such violation, such person, firm or corporation shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Sec. 29-358. Bond.
The chief executive authority of the municipality shall require a bond of one thousand dollars from the applicant for such permit conditioned on compliance with the provisions of section 29-357, provided no municipality shall be required to file such bond.
Sec. 29-361. Exceptions.
Nothing in sections 29-356 to 29-366, inclusive, shall be construed to prohibit the sale by any resident manufacturer, wholesaler, dealer or jobber, at wholesale, of such fireworks as are not herein prohibited, or the sale of any kind of fireworks, provided the same are to be shipped directly out of state, in accordance with United States Department of Transportation regulations covering the transportation of explosives and other dangerous articles by motor, rail and water; or the possession, sale or use of signals necessary for the safe operation of railroads or other classes of public or private transportation, or of illuminating devices for photographic use, or of illuminating torches for parades or ceremonial events, nor shall the provisions of said sections apply to the military or naval forces of the United States or the armed forces of the state, or to peace officers in the performance of their official duties, nor prohibit the sale or use of blank cartridges for ceremonial, theatrical or athletic events or for training dogs, or the use of fireworks solely for the agricultural purposes under conditions approved by the local or State Fire Marshal.
Sec. 29-362. Seizure and destruction of fireworks.
The State Fire Marshal or a local fire marshal shall seize, take, store, remove or cause to be removed, at the expense of the owner, all stocks of fireworks or combustibles offered or exposed for sale, stored, held or kept in violation of sections 29-356 to 29-366, inclusive. When any fireworks have been seized, the superior court having jurisdiction, shall expeditiously cause to be left at the place where such fireworks were seized, if such place is a dwelling house, store, shop or other building, and also to be left with or at the usual place of abode of the person named therein as the owner or keeper of such fireworks, a summons notifying him or her and all others whom it may concern to appear before such court, at a place and time named in such notice, which time shall be not less than six nor more than twelve days after the posting and service thereof, then and there to show cause, if any, why such fireworks should not be adjudged a nuisance. Such summons shall describe such articles with reasonable certainty, and state when and where the same were seized. If any person named in such summons or any person claiming any interest in the same appears, he or she shall be made a party defendant in such case. The informing officer or the complainants may appear and prosecute such complaint and, if the court finds the allegations of such complaint to be true and that such fireworks or any of them have been kept in violation of any provision of sections 29-356 to 29-366, inclusive, judgment shall be rendered that such articles are a nuisance, and execution shall issue that the same be destroyed together with the crates, boxes or vessels containing the same. The court shall not require storage of the fireworks pending final disposition of the case and shall order the fireworks to be destroyed upon their being inventoried, photographed and described in a sworn affidavit. Such inventory, photograph, description and sworn affidavit shall be sufficient evidence for the purposes of identification of the seized items at any subsequent court proceeding.
Sec. 29-363. Expense of transportation and storage of seized fireworks.
In any proceeding under section 29-362, if the judgment is against one defendant only, he shall pay the expense of the transportation and storage incurred in the seizure and detention of the fireworks claimed by him; but if the judgment is against more than one defendant, claiming distinct interests in such fireworks, such expense shall be apportioned among them by the court, and execution on such judgment may be issued against the accused. If judgment is rendered that such fireworks do not constitute a nuisance, the court shall issue a warrant to some proper officer, directing him to restore such fireworks, with the containers thereof, to the place where they were seized, as nearly as possible, or to the person entitled to receive them. All such proceedings shall be proceedings in rem and may be issued and served at any time and shall be conducted as civil actions, and the defendant shall have the same right of appeal.
Sec. 29-364. Licenses. Denial, suspension or revocation.
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. Sec. 29-365. License fees.
The fee to be paid to the licensing authority upon each application shall be as follows: For a fireworks manufacturing license, two hundred dollars; for a dealer, wholesaler and jobber, two hundred dollars. Fees collected by the State Fire Marshal shall be paid to the State Treasurer.
Sec. 29-366. Penalty.
Any person, firm or corporation violating the provisions of sections 29-358 to 29-365, inclusive, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than ninety days or be both fined and imprisoned.