What authority do municipalities have to regulate fireworks?
Wisconsin Stat. § 167.10 governs fireworks – defining what constitutes “fireworks” and providing the limited circumstances in which persons may sell, use, or possess fireworks with intent to sell. Persons may only sell fireworks, or possess them with intent to sell, to a person holding a municipal permit issued under § 167.10(3)(c); to a city, village, or town; to a person who is not a Wisconsin resident; or for a purpose specified in § 167.10(3)(b)2 to 6.
Section 167.10(5) authorizes municipalities to enact a local ordinance that defines “fireworks” to include specific items set forth by statute and not considered to be “fireworks” under state law and/or to prohibit or regulate the sale, possession, or use, as defined by ordinance, of fireworks.
A local ordinance may not be less restrictive in its coverage, prohibition, or regulation than § 167.10. County ordinances regulating fireworks do not apply and may not be enforced in any city or village that has an ordinance under § 167.10(5)(a).
Additionally, municipalities may not enact an ordinance prohibiting the possession of fireworks in that municipality while transporting the fireworks to a city, town, village, or county where the possession of the fireworks is authorized by permit or ordinance. Wis. Stat. § 167.10(6). For more information on local regulation of fireworks, see Licensing & Regulation 381R1. (rev. 5/22)