Fireworks Permitting and Licensing
Fireworks displays on our nation’s birthday are as American as apple pie, backyard barbecues and parades on Main Street. However, safety must always be the primary concern whether at a large public display or a backyard display involving consumer fireworks.
The Missouri Division of Fire Safety has the duty of enforcing the laws governing:
- Sale and use of fireworks
- Licensing individuals responsible for public displays
- Inspection of sites where fireworks are sold or displayed
Fireworks Safety in Missouri
Each year, the division issues permits to more than 1,500 seasonal retailers to sell consumer fireworks to the public. These permit holders can legally sell to the public from June 20 to July 10 and from Dec. 20 to Jan. 2 of the next year. Division investigators and inspectors conduct random inspections of these retailers.
The division also issues permits to more than 75 "jobbers" each year. These businesses are permitted to sell consumer fireworks at wholesale or retail within Missouri to non-licensed purchasers for use and distribution outside the state during a calendar year from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31. These are typically the large fireworks businesses seen along interstate highways in Missouri. These businesses can sell to residents of other states or to Missouri residents only after a reasonable inquiry and a waiver signed by the purchasers on a form provided by the state fire marshal indicating that the fireworks are for use outside Missouri if the sale is a retail transaction.
An additional 50 distributors of fireworks are permitted by the division each year. With proper federal permits, distributors can sell special fireworks for public displays to licensed display operators.
The division also issues permits to 10 fireworks wholesalers. Wholesalers are in the business of making sales of consumer fireworks to any other person engaged in the business of making sales of consumer fireworks at retail within Missouri. Five fireworks manufacturers located in Missouri are also permitted by the division.
An important aspect of the fireworks enforcement program is the testing and licensing of fireworks display operators and pyrotechnic operators. Before obtaining a license, all applicants must attend an approved training class, pass a state examination, and provide documentation of assisting with actual displays. The division licenses more than 550 display operators for public displays and proximate (indoor) fireworks displays.