Legality of personal use fireworks: Where you can and can’t light them

Local News

RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — New Year’s Eve is full of celebration and often times a night sky full of sparks, but before setting off any personal use fireworks, be sure to check that they’re allowed within your city’s limits.

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In 1996, Rio Grande City was authorized under state law to provide the regulation of sale, display, and use of fireworks within city limits, but RGC’s fire department confirmed with ValleyCentral Dec. 28 that personal use fireworks are not legal.

Other cities in the Rio Grande Valley that also deem it illegal to light fireworks for personal use include: South Padre Island, Brownsville, Harlingen, Edinburg, Pharr, Mission, and McAllen.

South Padre Island does not allow personal fireworks within city limits and on beaches.

Depending on the city ordinances, violators could face fines for possessing or shooting off fireworks.

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Fireworks not allowed in any of these cities include but are not limited to Roman candles, sparklers, and firecrackers.

The use of personal fireworks are not allowed in most parts of Mexico either. U.S. Customs and Border Protection could not speak to why they’re not allowed.

U.S. CBP does want to remind everyone though that fireworks are prohibited from entry/exit at South Texas land border crossings.

According to CBP Officer, Francisco Rodriguez, fireworks are not allowed to be imported for personal use as they are considered “explosive, flammable items and pose a public safety risk.”

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CBP works with more than 40 other government agencies to enforce over 400 laws to stop unsafe goods such as fireworks from crossing.

If you attempt to cross the border with explosives, you must declare them at the port of entry. When declared, fireworks can be abandoned at the port or brought back into the U.S. without penalty.

Failure to declare can result in penalties ranging from confiscation of fireworks to fines equaling the U.S. dollar amount of the explosives.

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