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Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 20: Internal Security and Public Safety

Chapter 177: EXPLOSIVES AND FIREWORKS

  • Subchapter 001: GENERAL PROVISIONS
  • §§ 3021, 3022. Repealed. 1971, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.


  • Subchapter 002: EXPLOSIVES AND TEAR BOMBS
  • § 3061. Possession

    A person who keeps or suffers to be kept upon premises owned or occupied by him or her , within 50 rods of an inhabited building of another person, more than 50 pounds of gunpowder or nitroglycerine at one time, or more than one pound unless contained in sound canisters of tin or other metal, or a package containing more than 50 pounds of dynamite, shall be fined  $25.00, and $25.00 additional for each day that it is so kept after notice from an inhabitant of such town to remove the same.

  • § 3062. Unlawful transportation

    (a) No person shall transport, carry or convey from one place in this state to another place in this state, dynamite, gunpowder, or other explosive on a vessel or vehicle of any description operated by a common carrier, which vessel or vehicle is carrying passengers for hire.

    (b) No person shall transport, carry, or convey intrastate, liquid nitroglycerine, fulminate in bulk in dry condition, or other like explosive, on a vessel or vehicle of any description operated by a common carrier in the transportation of passengers or articles of commerce by land or water.

  • § 3063. Lawful transportation

    It shall be lawful to transport on such vessel or vehicle small arms, ammunition in any quantity, and such fuses, torpedoes, rockets, or other signal devices, as may be essential to promote safety in operation; and properly packed and marked samples of explosives for laboratory examination, not exceeding a net weight of a half pound each, and not exceeding twenty samples at one time in a single vessel or vehicle, but such samples shall not be carried in that part of a vessel or vehicle which is intended for transportation of passengers for hire. However, subsection 3062(a) of this title shall not be construed to prevent the transportation of military or naval forces with their accompanying munitions of war on passenger equipment, vessels, or vehicles.

  • § 3064. Marking packages

    Every package containing explosives or other dangerous articles when presented to a common carrier for shipment shall have plainly marked on the outside the contents thereof. No person shall deliver or cause to be delivered to a common carrier an explosive, or other dangerous article under a false or deceptive marking, description, invoice, shipping order, or other declaration, or without informing the agent of such carrier of the true character thereof, at or before the time such delivery for carriage is made.

  • § 3065. Penalties

    (a) A person who knowingly violates, or causes to be violated, a provision of sections 3062-3064 of this title, or a regulation made by the Public Utility Commission in pursuance thereof, shall be imprisoned not more than 18 months or fined not more than $2,000.00, or both.

    (b) When the death or bodily injury of a person is caused by the explosion of any explosive named in sections 3062-3064 and 3091-3092 of this title, while the same is being placed upon a vessel or vehicle to be transported in violation hereof, or while the same is being so transported, or while the same is being removed from such vessel or vehicle, the person who knowingly places, or aids or permits the placement of such explosives upon such vessel or vehicle to be so transported, shall be imprisoned not more than ten years. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 39(b), eff. March 1, 1961.)

  • § 3071. Possession by employee

    For the purposes of this division, explosives in the possession of an employee who is acting within the scope of his duties shall be considered to be in the possession of the employer. (Added 1971, No. 107, § 10, eff. May 22, 1971.)

  • § 3072. Issuance of license

    (a) Any person who has reached the age of majority may apply to the Commissioner of Public Safety for a license to possess, purchase, store, use, transport, give, transfer, or sell explosives, as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1603, in this State for not more than one year from the date of issue.

    (b) An applicant for a license shall be entitled to the issuance thereof upon the submission of evidence, under oath, that satisfies the Commissioner of Public Safety that the applicant:

    (1) has a reasonable and lawful purpose for possessing, purchasing, storing, using, transporting, giving, transferring, or selling explosives;

    (2) has not been convicted of an offense the maximum term of imprisonment of which exceeds one year within the seven years preceding the application;

    (3) has not been adjudged incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of insanity, or has not been indicted by reason of insanity pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 4817, 4818, or 4819 by a court of competent jurisdiction in this or any other jurisdiction; and

    (4) demonstrates that he or she is competent to possess, purchase, store, use, transport, give, transfer, or sell the explosives, as the case may be.

    (c) The application for a license shall be in duplicate on forms provided by the Commissioner of Public Safety and shall bear the name, address, and signature of the licensee or an officer of the licensee. The original shall be delivered to the licensee and the duplicate shall be preserved for three years by the Commissioner of Public Safety.

    (d) The license shall be issued or denied within 15 days after application therefor; however, if the application is denied, the reasons for the denial shall be stated in writing with a copy mailed to the applicant.

    (e) The Commissioner of Public Safety may revoke any license issued under this division if, in his or her opinion, the holder has violated any provision of this division or of 13 V.S.A. §§ 1603-1611, or is ineligible to acquire explosives or to obtain a license under this section. A written notice of a revocation of a license by the Commissioner of Public Safety shall be given to the holder of the license in person or by certified mail prior to or concurrently with the effective date of the revocation, which notice shall state specific grounds upon which the revocation is based. (Added 1971, No. 107, § 10, eff. May 22, 1971; amended 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 125.)

  • § 3073. Fees

    The fee for applications for licenses shall be $50.00 for residents of the state and $100.00 for nonresidents. Initial licenses shall be for a term of one year. License renewals shall be for three years for a fee of $75.00 for residents and $150.00 for nonresidents. Fees collected under this section shall be credited to a special fund and shall be available to the department of public safety to offset the cost of providing the service. (Added 1971, No. 107, § 10, eff. May 22, 1971; amended 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1999, No. 49, § 163; 2005, No. 72, § 17.)

  • § 3074. Appeals

    Any person denied a license for the reasons enumerated in subsection 3072(c) of this title or whose license is revoked may, within 15 days of the date of the written denial of his or her application, request a hearing before the commissioner of public safety. The commissioner of public safety shall record any evidence offered by or on behalf of the person seeking the license, and also shall record any evidence denying or revoking the license, and list findings of fact upon which a decision was based. In the event the license is again denied or its revocation continued for any of the reasons enumerated in subsection 3072(c) of this title, an appeal may be taken to the appropriate superior court. (Added 1971, No. 107, § 10, eff. May 22, 1971; 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974.)

  • § 3075. Rules and regulations

    The commissioner of public safety may adopt rules and regulations under chapter 25 of Title 3 to implement the provisions of this division and to govern the storage, transportation and the manner of use of explosives as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1603. (Added 1971, No. 107 § 10, eff. May 22, 1971.)

  • § 3076. Penalties

    Any person convicted of violating the rules or regulations adopted under this division or making a false statement in applying for a license under this division, shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. (Added 1971, No. 107, § 10, eff. May 22, 1971.)

  • § 3091. Permit

    No person shall manufacture, possess, use or transport bombs, commonly called tear bombs, without first securing a written permit from the commissioner of public safety. Such permits shall be of such form and conditions, and for such length of time as the commissioner of public safety may prescribe and he may revoke for cause any permit so granted.

  • § 3092. Penalties

    A person who violates the provisions of section 3091 of this title may be fined not more than $1,000.00 or imprisoned for a period not exceeding one year, or both. (Amended 1981, No. 223 (Adj. Sess.), § 23.)


  • Subchapter 003: FIREWORKS
  • § 3131. Definitions

    The term "fireworks" means 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, including blank cartridges, toy pistols, toy cannons, toy canes, or toy guns in which explosives are used, balloons that are propelled by explosives, firecrackers, torpedoes, sky rockets, Roman candles, cherry 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 sparklers. The term "fireworks" does not include toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns, or other devices in which paper caps containing 0.25 grains or less of explosive compound are used, providing they are so constructed that the hand cannot come in contact with the cap when in place for use, and toy pistol paper caps that contain less than 0.2 grains of explosive mixture. The term "fireworks" does not include fixed ammunition for firearms, or primers for firearms. The term "sparkler" means a sparkling item that is in compliance with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations and is one of the following:

    (1) A hand-held wire or wood sparkler that is less than 14 inches and has no more than 20 grams of pyrotechnic mixture.

    (2) A snake, party popper, glow worm, smoke device, string popper, snapper, or drop pop with no more than 0.25 grains of explosive mixture. (Amended 2003, No. 15, § 1, eff. May 6, 2003.)

  • § 3132. Prohibitions; permits

    (a) Except as provided in this section, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, co-partnership, or corporation to do any of the following:

    (1) Offer for sale, expose for sale, sell at retail or wholesale, or possess fireworks unless the person has been issued a permit by both the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and the municipality in which the person offers for sale and stores the fireworks.

    (2) Use, possess, or explode any fireworks unless the person has been issued a permit to display fireworks pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

    (3) Transport fireworks except in interstate commerce.

    (4) Offer for sale or sell hand-held sparklers as described in subdivision 3131(1) of this title to a minor.

    (5) Offer for sale or sell sparklers that are not in compliance with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations.

    (b) The state fire marshal shall have power to adopt reasonable rules and regulations for granting permits for supervised public displays of fireworks by municipalities, fair associations, amusement parks, and other organizations or groups of individuals.

    (c) Any display for which a permit is issued shall be handled by a competent operator to be approved by the chiefs of police and fire departments of the municipality in which the display is to be held and shall be of a character, and so located, discharged or fired as, in the opinion of the chief of the fire department, or in a municipality with no fire department, the selectboard, after proper inspection, shall not be hazardous to property or endanger any person or persons.

    (d) Application for permits shall be made to the chief of the fire department, or in municipalities with no fire department, the selectboard, in writing, at least 15 days in advance of the date of the display. After the permit has been granted, sales, possessions, use and distribution of fireworks for the display shall be lawful for that purpose only. No permit granted under this section shall be transferable. (Amended 2003, No. 15, § 2, eff. May 6, 2003; 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 294q; 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 294z, eff. April 1, 2005; 2005, No. 8, § 3, eff. April 25, 2005; 2009, No. 33, § 42.)

  • § 3133. Permitted uses

    (a) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to prohibit: the use of fireworks by railroads, other transportation agencies, or law enforcement officers for signal purposes or illumination; the sale or use of blank cartridges for a show or theatre, for signal or ceremonial purposes in athletics or sports, or for use by military organizations; the use of explosives for blasting or similar purposes; the use of fireworks by farmers to control birds in crops.

    (b) The state fire marshal shall have the power to adopt reasonable rules for the importation, sale, purchase and use of fireworks to be used solely for the purpose of frightening birds from crops. Application for permits for importation, purchase and use by farmers shall be made to the board of selectmen or town fire wardens of the town in which the farmer intends to use such fireworks for the sole purpose of frightening birds from crops. Permits shall be issued for such use only, at such times and such locations, as to present no fire or safety hazard within the area. (Amended 1959, No. 147.)

  • § 3134. Seizure

    The state fire marshal, his or her deputy, a state police, a sheriff, a deputy sheriff, police officer, or constable may seize such articles held by a person in violation of this subchapter and hold the same subject to the order of the court taking jurisdiction of the offense.

  • § 3135. Penalties

    Any person, firm, co-partnership, or corporation that:

    (1) Violates this subchapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not more than $100.00 for each violation or imprisoned for not more than 30 days or both.

    (2) Presents an indoor firework display without first receiving a permit as required in this subchapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or imprisonment of not more than one year, or both. (Amended 1967, No. 345 (Adj. Sess.), § 30, eff. April 1, 1969; 2003, No. 15, § 3, eff. May 6, 2003.)

  • § 3136. Construction

    Being in the interest of public safety the provisions of this subchapter shall be liberally construed.