New Jersey's fireworks laws are among the strictest in the nation, restricting individuals from buying, using, possessing or transporting fireworks in the state.
Howard Black, Director of Public Safety for the state, recently wrote in a letter to store owners that eight New Jerseyans were treated in emergency rooms in 2010 for fireworks-related injuries.
"Sparkler and novelty items, such as cigarette loads, trick matches, trick noise makers, smoke grenades, toy propellants, snaps
& pops, poppetts and champagne poppers, as well as firecrackers, roman candles, rockets, etc., are all illegal in this state," said Black.
"The Fireworks Laws are jointly enforced by municipalities and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The law states that the sale or possession of fireworks, with intent to sell, is a crime of the fourth degree. Any person found guilty of possessing fireworks, including sparklers, with the intention of selling them, can be fined up to $7,500 and/or imprisoned up to 18 months. Any person found using fireworks illegally can be fined up to $500 and/or imprisoned for up to 30 days."
A George Mason University study published by ABC News found New Jersey to be one of the least free states in the U.S., citing the number of restrictions on personal liberties on the books.
Some New Jerseyans draw inspiration from their tea-tossing forefathers and take the risk to defy laws they see as restricting their freedom by traveling to states like Pennsylvania and New Hampshire to purchase fireworks. Yet, they're also taking money out of the local economy by doing so.
As New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country,
the current laws exist to protect against accidents and fires to houses with people stacked so close together.