Article 54.

Sale, etc., of Pyrotechnics.

14-410. Manufacture, sale and use of pyrotechnics prohibited; exceptions; license required; sale to persons under the age of 16 prohibited.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, it shall be unlawful for any individual, firm, partnership or corporation to manufacture, purchase, sell, deal in, transport, possess, receive, advertise, use, handle, exhibit, or discharge any pyrotechnics of any description whatsoever within the State of North Carolina.

(a1) It shall be permissible for pyrotechnics to be exhibited, used, handled, manufactured, or discharged within the State, provided all of the following apply:

(1) The exhibition, use, or discharge is at a concert or public exhibition.

(2) All individuals who exhibit, use, handle, or discharge pyrotechnics in connection with a concert or public exhibition have completed the training and licensing required under Article 82A of Chapter 58 of the General Statutes. The display operator or proximate audience display operator, as required under Article 82A of Chapter 58 of the General Statutes, must be present at the concert or public exhibition and must personally direct all aspects of exhibiting, using, handling, or discharging the pyrotechnics. Notwithstanding this subdivision, the display operator for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts may appoint an on-site representative to supervise any performances that include a proximate audience display subsequent to the opening performance, provided that the representative (i) is a minimum of 21 years of age and (ii) is properly trained in the safe discharge of proximate audience displays.

(3) The display operator has secured written authority under G.S. 14-413 from the board of county commissioners of the county, or the city if authorized under G.S. 14-413(a1), in which the pyrotechnics are to be exhibited, used or discharged. Written authority from the board of commissioners or city is not required under this subdivision for a concert or public exhibition provided the display operator has secured written authority from (i) The University of North Carolina or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under G.S. 14-413, and pyrotechnics are exhibited on lands or buildings in Orange County owned by The University of North Carolina or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, (ii) the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and pyrotechnics are exhibited on lands or in buildings owned by the State and used by the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, or (iii) The University of North Carolina or North Carolina State University under G.S. 14-413, and pyrotechnics are exhibited on lands or buildings in Wake County owned by The University of North Carolina or North Carolina State University.

(a2) Notwithstanding any provision of this section, it shall not be unlawful for a common carrier to receive, transport, and deliver pyrotechnics in the regular course of its business.

(a3) The requirements of this section apply to G.S. 14-413(b) and G.S. 14-413(c).

(a4) It shall be permissible for pyrotechnics to be exhibited, used, handled, manufactured, or discharged within the State as a special effect by a production company, as defined in G.S. 105-164.3(30), for a motion picture production, if the motion picture set is closed to the public or is separated from the public by a minimum distance of 500 feet.

(a5) It shall be permissible for pyrotechnics to be exhibited, used, handled, manufactured, or discharged within the State for pyrotechnic or proximate audience display instruction consisting of classroom and practical skills training approved by the Office of State Fire Marshal.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 14-414, it shall be unlawful for any individual, firm, partnership, or corporation to sell pyrotechnics as defined in G.S. 14-414(2), (3), (4)c., (5), or (6) to persons under the age of 16.

(c) The following definitions apply in this Article:

(1) Concert or public exhibition. - A fair, carnival, show of any description, or public celebration.

(2) Display operator. - An individual issued a display operator license under G.S. 58-82A-3.

(3) State Fire Marshal. - Defined in G.S. 58-80-1. (1947, c. 210, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 660, s. 3; 1995, c. 475, s. 1; 2003-298, s. 2; 2007-38, s. 1; 2009-507, s. 1; 2010-22, s. 8; 2013-275, s. 1; 2015-124, s. 1.)

 

14-411. Sale deemed made at site of delivery.

In case of sale or purchase of pyrotechnics, where the delivery thereof was made by a common or other carrier, the sale shall be deemed to be made in the county wherein the delivery was made by such carrier to the consignee. (1947, c. 210, s. 2.)

 

14-412. Possession prima facie evidence of violation.

Possession of pyrotechnics by any person, for any purpose other than those permitted under this article, shall be prima facie evidence that such pyrotechnics are kept for the purpose of being manufactured, sold, bartered, exchanged, given away, received, furnished, otherwise disposed of, or used in violation of the provisions of this article. (1947, c. 210, s. 3.)

 

14-413. Permits for use at public exhibitions.

(a) For the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this Article, the board of county commissioners of any county, or the governing board of a city authorized pursuant to subsection (a1) of this section, may issue permits for use in connection with the conduct of concerts or public exhibitions, such as fairs, carnivals, shows of all descriptions and public celebrations, but only after satisfactory evidence is produced to the effect that said pyrotechnics will be used for the aforementioned purposes and none other. Provided that no such permit shall be required for a public exhibition under any of the following circumstances:

(1) The exhibition is authorized by The University of North Carolina or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and conducted on lands or in buildings in Orange County owned by The University of North Carolina or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

(2) The exhibition is authorized by the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and conducted on lands or in buildings owned by the State and used by the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

(3) The exhibition is authorized by The University of North Carolina or North Carolina State University and conducted on lands or in buildings in Wake County owned by The University of North Carolina or North Carolina State University.

(a1) For the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this Article, a board of county commissioners may authorize the governing body of any city in the county to issue permits pursuant to the provisions of this Article for pyrotechnics to be exhibited, used, or discharged within the corporate limits of the city for use in connection with the conduct of concerts or public exhibitions. The board of county commissioners shall adopt a resolution granting the authority to the city, and it shall remain in effect until withdrawn by the board of county commissioners adopting a subsequent resolution withdrawing the authority. If a city lies in more than one county, the board of county commissioners of each county in which the city lies must adopt an authorizing resolution. If any county in which the city lies withdraws the authority of the city to issue permits for the use of pyrotechnics, the authority of the city to issue permits for the use of pyrotechnics will end, and all counties within which the city lies must resume their authority to issue the permits.

(b) For any indoor use of pyrotechnics at a concert or public exhibition, the board of commissioners or the governing body of an authorized city may not issue any permit unless the local fire marshal or the State Fire Marshal (or in the case of The University of North Carolina, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, or North Carolina State University it may not authorize such concert or public exhibition unless the State Fire Marshal) has certified that:

(1) Adequate fire suppression will be used at the site.

(2) The structure is safe for the use of such pyrotechnics with the type of fire suppression to be used.

(3) Adequate egress from the building is available based on the size of the expected crowd.

(c) The requirements of subsection (b) of this section also apply to any city authorized to grant pyrotechnic permits by local act and to the officer delegated the power to grant such permits by local act.

(d) A board of county commissioners or the governing board of a city shall not issue a permit under this section unless the display operator provides proof of insurance in the amount of at least five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) or the minimum amount required under the North Carolina State Building Code pursuant to G.S. 143-138(e), whichever is greater. A board of county commissioners or the governing board of a city may require proof of insurance that exceeds these minimum requirements. (1947, c. 210, s. 4; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 660, s. 3.1; 1995, c. 509, s. 11; 2003-298, s. 1; 2007-38, s. 2; 2009-507, s. 2; 2013-275, s. 2; 2015-124, s. 2.)

 

14-414. Pyrotechnics defined; exceptions.

For the proper construction of the provisions of this Article, "pyrotechnics," as is herein used, shall be deemed to be and include any and all kinds of fireworks and explosives, which are used for exhibitions or amusement purposes: provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall prevent the manufacture, purchase, sale, transportation, and use of explosives or signaling flares used in the course of ordinary business or industry, or shells or cartridges used as ammunition in firearms. This Article shall not apply to the sale, use, or possession of the following:

(1) Explosive caps designed to be fired in toy pistols, provided that the explosive mixture of the explosive caps shall not exceed twenty-five hundredths (.25) of a gram for each cap.

(2) Snake and glow worms composed of pressed pellets of a pyrotechnic mixture that produce a large, snake-like ash when burning.

(3) Smoke devices consisting of a tube or sphere containing a pyrotechnic mixture that produces white or colored smoke.

(4) Trick noisemakers which produce a small report designed to surprise the user and which include:

a. A party popper, which is a small plastic or paper item containing not in excess of 16 milligrams of explosive mixture. A string protruding from the device is pulled to ignite the device, expelling paper streamers and producing a small report.

b. A string popper, which is a small tube containing not in excess of 16 milligrams of explosive mixture with string protruding from both ends. The strings are pulled to ignite the friction-sensitive mixture, producing a small report.

c. A snapper or drop pop, which is a small, paper-wrapped item containing no more than 16 milligrams of explosive mixture coated on small bits of sand. When dropped, the device produces a small report.

(5) Wire sparklers consisting of wire or stick coated with nonexplosive pyrotechnic mixture that produces a shower of sparks upon ignition. These items must not exceed 100 grams of mixture per item.

(6) Other sparkling devices which emit showers of sparks and sometimes a whistling or crackling effect when burning, do not detonate or explode, do not spin, are hand-held or ground-based, cannot propel themselves through the air, and contain not more than 75 grams of chemical compound per tube, or not more than a total of 200 grams if multiple tubes are used. (1947, c. 210, s. 5; 1955, c. 674, s. 1; 1993, c. 437.)

 

14-415. Violation made misdemeanor.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this Article, except as otherwise specified in said Article, shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, except that it is a Class 1 misdemeanor if the exhibition is indoors. (1947, c. 210, s. 6; 1969, c. 1224, s. 3; 1993, c. 539, s. 288; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2003-298, s. 3.)