Lehigh Valley

Formerly banned fireworks now sold to Pennsylvania residents

A handful of stores in Pennsylvania, after passing inspection, are now able to sell fireworks to state residents.

A giant hole in the Pennsylvania budget led the state to change its fireworks laws in October, all in the name of raising revenue.

"Pennsylvanians can now buy our full spectrum of aerial fireworks," said Ken Schuchman, owner of The Fireworks Outlet. 

Schuchman owns several stores in the Poconos, and got his license to sell to Pennsylvania residents Dec. 7.

The law allows residents to buy consumer-grade fireworks. 

"All the things we've been selling to out of state people for 14 years," he explained. "Firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rockets, aerial repeaters, reloadable mortar shells."

Basically, most things not used in professional fireworks displays are now available.

Schuchman, not surprisingly, expects the law change will be good for business.   

"Pennsylvanians are excited and they're coming out and they're seeing what's available to them," he told WFMZ. 

Phantom Fireworks in Easton should have their license imminently; in fact, they expected to receive it already.

"We got inspected on Saturday by the Department of Agriculture," said manager Jeff Bell.

They passed, and will begin sales immediately once the license arrives. 

Customers have been anxiously waiting, with Phantom receiving sometimes 20 calls a day asking about the new law. 

What buyers might not like is the new 12 percent tax put on aerial fireworks, in addition to the other taxes already in place. 

"We're not ecstatic about it," said Bell. "We're trying to combat it the best we can and give customers a free item for that tax amount."

Several other stores in the area contacted by WFMZ expect to have their licenses any day. 

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