What authority do municipalities have to regulate fireworks?
Section 167.10 of the Wisconsin Statutes
governs fireworks, defining what constitutes "fireworks" and providing
under what limited conditions persons may sell fireworks or possess
fireworks with intent to sell. With certain specific exceptions, the
sale of fireworks or possession of fireworks with intent to sell
requires a municipal permit and possession or use of fireworks requires a
user's permit from the mayor or village president of the municipality
in which the possession or use is to occur or from an official or
employee of that municipality designated by the mayor or president.
Issuance of permits is only authorized under certain circumstances set
forth by statute.
Section 167.10(5) specifically authorizes
municipalities to enact local ordinances. Such ordinances can define
"fireworks" to include specific items set forth by statute and not
considered to be "fireworks" under state law and to prohibit or regulate
the sale, possession or use, as defined by ordinance, of fireworks.
Although a local ordinance may be more
restrictive in its coverage, prohibition or regulation than sec. 167.10
generally, it may not be less restrictive. County ordinances regulating
fireworks do not apply and may not be enforced within any city, village
or town that has enacted its own local ordinance.
In spite of the authority to enact local
ordinances, municipalities are prohibited from enacting an ordinance
that prohibits the possession of fireworks in that city or village while
transporting the fireworks to a city, town, village or county where the
possession of the fireworks is authorized by permit or ordinance. For
more information on local regulation of fireworks, see Licensing &