Fireworks are illegal in Las Vegas and throughout Clark County except for the Safe-N-Sane variety during the week prior to July Fourth.
Every Nevada county regulates fireworks differently. But throughout Nevada, it is illegal to possess fireworks in schools, streets and sidewalks, and city, state, or federal property, such as parks.
Unlawful fireworks possession is a misdemeanor in Las Vegas. First-time offenders typically get off with a fine, though the maximum possible penalties are:
- up to 6 months in jail, and/or up to $1,000 in fines; and
- a $500 civil fine
In this article, our Las Vegas fireworks attorneys answer frequently-asked questions about Nevada fireworks laws, punishments, and how to fight the charges.
- 1. Are fireworks legal in Nevada?
- 2. Are fireworks legal in Las Vegas?
- 3. Can I bring illegal fireworks into Clark County from elsewhere?
- 4. How do people get caught transporting fireworks?
- 5. Can I get arrested for having or using illegal fireworks in Las Vegas?
- 6. Can I go to jail for illegal fireworks in Las Vegas?
- 7. What are some common defenses?
- 8. Can you buy non-Safe-N-Sane fireworks in Nye County?
- 9. Can you buy non-Safe-N-Sane fireworks in the Moapa Indian Reservation?
- 10. Are there related crimes?
Note that this article pertains only to consumer fireworks (also called “class C fireworks”) that private citizens use recreationally. There are separate laws that regulate display fireworks that licensed pyrotechnicians use.
1. Are fireworks legal in Nevada?
It depends. Each Nevada county has its own laws regulating fireworks.1
Note that fireworks are always prohibited in the following locations no matter which county they are located in:
- streets and sidewalks;
- school district property; and
- any federal, state or city property, such as parks and recreational areas.
Therefore, fireworks are illegal at such Nevada landmarks as:
2. Are fireworks legal in Las Vegas?
Fireworks are illegal in Clark County (which includes Las Vegas) except for the Safe-N-Sane variety during the week prior to July 4. Specifically, fireworks are illegal unless they meet the following three conditions:
- The fireworks carry the “Safe-N-Sane” emblem (which means they do not rocket, explode or leave the ground once they are ignited); and
- The fireworks are sold anytime during the week from June 28th to July 4th; and
- The fireworks are sold by licensed vendors approved by the fire department in special booths located in Clark County (there are more than 400 vendors, and they are typically run by nonprofit groups such as booster organizations).
Therefore, even Safe-N-Sane fireworks are illegal to possess in Clark County for all but one week out of the year.3
People who have any fireworks left over after July 4th are advised to contact their local fire department to take them off their hands since they are no longer legal.
Examples of fireworks that are always illegal in Clark County even during July 4th, include:
- roman candles,
- bottle rockets,
- black cats,
- trick matches,
- mortar shells,
- cigarette loads,
- autofoolers, and
- sparklers more than 10 inches in length or more than a ¼ inch in diameter.
3. Can I bring fireworks into Clark County from elsewhere?
No. It does not matter if the fireworks were legal in the place they were obtained. It is a crime to bring any type of fireworks into Clark County from elsewhere.4
Note that bringing fireworks on a plane (or trying to) is illegal under federal law.5
4. How do people get caught transporting fireworks?
The Nevada Highway Patrol and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police set up traffic checkpoints (similar to DUI checkpoints) during peak times to search cars for illegal fireworks. A typical location is the stretch of Blue Diamond Road connecting Nye County (where many fireworks are legal) to Clark County. These checkpoints often crop up during the week before July 4th.
5. Can I get arrested for having or using illegal fireworks in Las Vegas?
Yes, but in practice cops typically just issue a misdemeanor citation and confiscate the fireworks. Similar to a traffic ticket, the citation will have information about the next court date and required fines.
Cops usually resort to making arrests only when the person is caught with a large number of fireworks or is using them in an unsafe manner.6
6. Can I go to jail for illegal fireworks in Las Vegas?
Possibly, but it is unlikely for a first offense.
It is a misdemeanor to buy or possess fireworks in Clark County (with the exception of Safe-and-Sane fireworks in the week leading up to the Fourth of July). The judge will usually just order a fine of a few hundred dollars and no jail. The maximum misdemeanor sentence (which is rarely imposed) includes:
- up to $1,000 in fines, and/or
- up to six months in jail.
In addition, defendants face civil fines depending on the gross weight of the fireworks:
Weight of fireworks
|Less than 100 pounds|| |
$500 plus disposal costs
Second violation in three years:
$1,000 plus disposal costs
|100 to less than 5,000 pounds||$5,000 plus disposal costs|
|5,000 pounds or more||$10,000 plus disposal costs7|
It is also a misdemeanor to ignite fireworks within three hundred (300) feet of a fireworks booth, gas station or anywhere else with flammable materials. And if the fireworks caused damage to property in Las Vegas, the judge may also order the defendant to pay restitution.8
7. What are some common defenses?
The best strategy for defending against fireworks-related charges in Nevada turns on the specific facts of the case. The most common defense is showing that the fireworks did not belong to the defendant, and that defendant had no control over them.
If the defendant had no major prior brushes with the law, the prosecutor may be willing to dismiss the entire case in exchange for a fine. A dismissal means that there is no criminal conviction.
Even though illegal fireworks possession is a relatively minor offense, it is important to try to get your case dismissed. That way, the defendant is eligible to petition for a record seal right away. Otherwise, an illegal fireworks conviction will stay on the person’s record for at least one (1) year before he/she can try to get it sealed.
8. Can you buy non-Safe-N-Sane fireworks in Nye County?
Yes, it is legal to purchase fireworks that are not “Safe-N-Sane” in Nye County (which includes Pahrump). But strangely, Nye County prohibits the possession or use of any type of fireworks there. It is illegal even to possess or use “Safe and Sane” fireworks in Nye County…
So people who buy fireworks in Nye County have to sign a waiver pledging that the fireworks will be taken outside of Nye County within 24 hours.9
9. Can you buy non-Safe-N-Sane fireworks in the Moapa Indian Reservation?
Yes. The Moapa Indian reservation is not obliged to follow state or local fireworks laws. Therefore, vendors there may sell fireworks that are not “Safe-N-Sane.”
Note that customers are usually required to ignite them immediately on the flat, sand-covered “launching pads” that the vendors provide behind the stores.10
10. Are there related crimes?
10.1. Reckless endangerment
People accused of using fireworks “in willful disregard of others’ safety” in Nevada may face charges of reckless endangerment. As long as no one got killed or seriously hurt, reckless endangerment is a gross misdemeanor carrying:
- up to $2,000 in fines, and/or
- up to 364 days in jail
But if the incident allegedly resulted in death or serious injury, then reckless endangerment is charged as a category C felony carrying:
- 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison, and
- maybe a fine of up to $10,000 as well11
10.2. Malicious use of explosives
- 2 to 10 years in Nevada State Prison, and/or
- $2,000 to $10,000 in fines
Penalties become harsher if someone gets hurt or killed.12
Cited or arrested for fireworks in Nevada? Phone us for help . . . .
Our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys are eager to try to get your Nevada illegal fireworks case dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge. Call us for a free consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.
For information on California fireworks law, go to our page on California fireworks law.
For information on Colorado fireworks law, go to our page on Colorado fireworks laws.
- NRS 244.367.
- NRS 472.520 (formerly 473.090).
- Clark County Code 13.04.260.
- See e.g. 18 U.S.C. § 836; 49 U.S.C. § 46505.
- Clark County Code 13.04.260.
- Clark County Code 13.04.260. Sabrina Schnur, Caught using illegal fireworks? It will cost you more this year, Las Vegas Review-Journal (June 2, 2022).
- Nye County Code 8.04.
- See Indian Reorganization Act (1934); Constitution and By-Laws of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians (1942).
- NRS 202.595.
- NRS 202.830.