ST. LOUIS — The Fourth of July is just weeks away, and that means it's fireworks season.
Fireworks sellers say prices will be among the highest ever this year, and fire and safety officials have issued their annual warnings about the potential fire and injury hazards associated with fireworks.
If you are one of the many people wanting to shoot off your own fireworks, there's still another thing to consider: legality.
In some states, it’s either illegal for people to shoot off fireworks or a permit is required. But in other states, like Missouri, fireworks are legal, but the laws still vary from place to place.
You can check with your city, county or other municipality, but here is a brief breakdown of firework laws in the counties and cities around the St. Louis area as well as the differences between Missouri and Illinois.
Missouri vs. Illinois
Missouri is one of 46 states that allow some or all types of fireworks.
Vendors in Missouri can sell fireworks from June 20 to July 10 and Dec. 20 to Jan. 2. But even though it is legal, some Missouri cities have their own laws when it comes to fireworks.
Illinois is one of three states to only allow fireworks like sparklers, glow worms, smoke devices, or ‘party poppers.’ The state prohibits handheld fireworks, bottle rockets, firecrackers, roman candles, buzz bombs, etc. Ohio and Vermont have similar laws.
Click here for more information on state firework laws.
City of St. Louis
In the City of St. Louis, selling, buying and using fireworks is prohibited. Public displays of fireworks can be done if a person or entity gets written approval from the city fire marshal.
The penalty for shooting off fireworks in the city could be a fine of $100-500 and/or five to 90 days in jail for each violation.
If someone is convicted for a second violation within a 12-month period, they could be fined $300-500 and/or spend 10-90 days in jail for each violation.
St. Louis County
In St. Louis County, selling, buying or using fireworks is also prohibited, unless you have a permit.
In order to get a permit for fireworks, you would need to fill out an application at least 10 days prior to the date of the fireworks display. Permits will not be issued without approval of the fire protection district for wherever the display is located.
The penalties for fireworks include a $50-1,000 fine and/or up to 90 days in jail for each offense.
Jefferson County goes by state law when it comes to fireworks, which means residents can sell, buy and use them. But some cities in the county have specific guidelines to follow:
In Arnold, fireworks cannot be used before June 25 or after July 5, except for New Year’s Eve.
From June 25 through June 30, fireworks can be shot off from noon to 10 p.m., from July 1 through July 3 from noon to 11 p.m. and on the Fourth of July from noon to midnight.
The only way to legally use fireworks in Arnold on any other day of the year, you would have to get written permits from the city council.
In Festus, you can only use fireworks on the Fourth of July from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and New Year's Eve from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on New Year's Day. You can only set off fireworks on privately owned property.
All public firework displays must be approved prior to the date of the display by the Festus city council.
St. Charles County
In St. Charles County, fireworks are prohibited except between the hours of 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. from July 2 to July 5 and between the hours of 11:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to 12:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
Anyone who violates the time and date restrictions could be fined up to $500.
In 2020, O’Fallon announced a change to the laws that would allow residents to legally shoot off fireworks at home. The city’s new fireworks ordinance will allow fireworks to be used on July 3 and the Fourth of July from noon until 11 p.m.
Franklin County also goes by state law when it comes to fireworks, but some cities in the county have their own rules.
Union only allows fireworks to be used from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the Fourth of July. In Gerald, residents can shoot fireworks off from June 20 to July 10 and on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Prior to the Fourth of July, from Sunday to Thursday, fireworks can be used from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Gerald. On Friday and Saturdays, and on the Fourth of July, fireworks can be used from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
On New Year’s Eve, fireworks can be used from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. and on New Year’s Day from 12 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The City of Troy Board of Alderman also voted to ban fireworks in all residential areas in the city, according to the Troy, Missouri Police Department's Facebook page.
The board voted on the ban on June 23. The previous rule allowed fireworks only on the Fourth of July between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Now, fireworks are not allowed at any time.
The ban went into effect June 24, 2022.