Senate Bill No. 482
(Senators Love, Wiedebusch, Bowman,
Schoonover, Buckalew and Blatnik,
[Passed March 11, 1995; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend article twelve, chapter eleven of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated
section eighty-six; and to amend and reenact section
twenty-three, article three, chapter twenty-nine of said
code, all relating to authorizing sparklers and novelties
sales; requiring registration of businesses which sell
sparklers and novelties; and preventing sparklers and
sparkler devices from being sold to persons under sixteen
years of age.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article twelve, chapter eleven of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section
eighty-six; and that section twenty-three, article three,
chapter twenty-nine of said code be amended and reenacted, all
to read as follows:
CHAPTER 11. TAXATION.
ARTICLE 12. BUSINESS REGISTRATION TAX.
§11-12-86. Sparkler and novelty registration fee.
The tax commissioner shall establish an annual "Sparkler
and Novelty Registration Fee" which shall be charged all
businesses licensed to do business in the state of West
Virginia desiring to sell sparklers and novelties authorized
for sale in section twenty-three, article three, chapter
twenty-nine of this code. This fee shall run concurrent with
the business registration certificate set forth in section five
of this article. This fee shall not be prorated. Each
business shall pay fifteen dollars for each registration and
shall be issued a sticker or card by the tax commissioner to be
posted in a conspicuous position at the location of the business which has paid the registration fee. This fee shall
be collected for each separate location where sparklers and
novelties are sold. The tax commissioner may, in his
discretion, require a separate certificate which shall be
posted as set forth herein, or provide that the evidence of
compliance with this section may be by a stamp or language
added to the business registration certificate or by embossing
or writing imprinted on the business registration certificate.
CHAPTER 29. MISCELLANEOUS BOARDS AND OFFICERS.
ARTICLE 3. FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL ACT.
§29-3-23. "Fireworks" defined; labels required.
The term "fireworks" means and includes any combustible or
explosive composition, or any substance or combination of
substances, or article prepared for the purpose of producing a
visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion,
deflagration or detonation and shall include blank cartridges,
toy pistols, toy cannons, toy canes or toy guns in which
explosives are used, the type of unmanned balloons which
require fire underneath to propel the same, firecrackers,
torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, daygo bombs or other
fireworks of like construction and any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound or any tablets or other device
containing any explosive substance, except that the term
"fireworks" shall not include:
Model rockets and model rocket engines, designed, sold and
used for the purpose of propelling recoverable acro models and
shall not include toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other
devices in which paper or plastic caps manufactured in
accordance with the United States department of transportation
regulations for packing and shipping of toy paper or plastic
caps are used and toy paper or plastic caps manufactured as
provided therein, the sale and use of which shall be permitted
at all times. Each package containing toy paper or plastic
caps offered for retail sale shall be labeled to indicate the
maximum explosive content per cap.
The following sparklers and novelties shall not be
considered fireworks and require a business registration fee be
paid to be authorized to sell, as provided for in section
eighty-six, article twelve, chapter eleven of this code:
(1) Explosive caps designed to be fired in toy pistols,
provided that the explosive mixture of the caps shall not
exceed twenty-five hundredths of a grain for each cap.
(2) Snake and glow worms composed of pressed pellets of a
pyrotechnic mixture that produce a large snake-like ash when
(3) Smoke devices consisting of a tube or sphere
containing a pyrotechnic mixture that produces white or colored
(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 twenty-five hundredths of a grain
of explosive mixture. A string protruding from the device is
pulled to activate the device, expelling paper streamers and
producing a small report.
(b) A string popper which is a small tube containing not
in excess of twenty-five hundredths of a grain of explosive
mixture with string protruding from both ends. The strings are
pulled to activate the friction-sensitive mixture, producing a
(c) A snapper or drop pop, which is a small paper wrapped
item containing no more than twenty-five hundredths of a grain
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 one hundred
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, are hand-held or ground-based, cannot
propel themselves through the air and contain not more than
seventy-five grams of chemical compound per tube or not more
than a total of two hundred grams if multiple tubes are used:
Provided, That sparklers and sparkler devices as provided for
herein shall not be sold to anyone below the age of sixteen