City of Las Vegas, NM
San Miguel County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Las Vegas as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Open burning — See Ch. 154.
Code enforcement citations — See Ch. 179.
Criminal code — See Ch. 192.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 233.
[Adopted 4-21-1999 by Ord. No. 98-20 (Ch. 7, Art. 6 of the 1972 City Code)]

§ 238-1 Purpose.

A. 
The purposes of this article are as follows:
(1) 
An Act to regulate the manufacture, transportation, storage, sale, and use of fireworks within the City of Las Vegas, New Mexico;
(2) 
Defining what types of fireworks may be manufactured, stored, sold and used;
(3) 
Establishing safety requirements for storage, sale, and use;
(4) 
Providing for licensing and fees;
(5) 
Establishing selling periods for retail sale; and
(6) 
Establishing penalties for violations.
B. 
This Act shall not pertain to any aspect of the use of fireworks in public displays as regulated by the City of Las Vegas Fire Department within the City of Las Vegas, New Mexico.

§ 238-2 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMMON FIREWORKS
Small fireworks, designed primarily to produce visible effect by combustion, that must comply with the construction, chemical composition, and labeling regulations promulgated by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CFR Title 16, Commercial Practices, Part 1507). Some small devices designed to produce an audible effect are included, such as whistling devices, ground devices containing 50 mg or less of explosive composition, and aerial devices containing 50 mg or less of explosive composition. Propelling or expelling charges consisting of a mixture of charcoal, sulfur, and potassium nitrate are not considered as designed to produce an audible effect. Common fireworks include the following:
A. 
(1) 
Stick or wire coated with pyrotechnic composition that produces a shower of sparks upon ignition. Total pyrotechnic composition may not exceed 100 grams per item. Those devices containing any chlorate or perchlorate salts are not to exceed five grams in total composition per item. Wire sparklers which contain no magnesium and which contain less than 100 grams of composition per item are not included in this category, in accordance with the regulation of the US Department of Transportation.
(2) 
A sphere or paper tube that contains no more than 20 grams of pyrotechnic composition that produces a flash of light and a mild, audible crackling effect upon ignition which effect is not considered to be an explosion; crackling devices are not subject to the fifty-milligram limit of firecrackers.
(3) 
Cylindrical tube not exceeding 3/4 inch in inside diameter containing up to 75 grams of pyrotechnic composition. Fountains produce a shower of color and sparks upon ignition, and sometimes a whistling effect. Cylindrical fountains may contain a spike to be inserted in the ground (spike fountain), a wooden or plastic base to be placed on the ground (base fountain), or a wooden handle or cardboard handle for items designed to be hand-held (handle fountain) and when more than one tube is mounted on a common base, total pyrotechnic composition shall not exceed 200 grams.
(4) 
Cardboard or heavy paper cone containing no more than 50 grams of pyrotechnic composition. The effect is the same as that of a cylindrical fountain; and when more than one cone is mounted on a common base, total pyrotechnic composition shall not exceed 200 grams.
(5) 
Cylindrical tube containing no more that 100 grams of pyrotechnic composition. Upon ignition, colored fire is produced. These may be either spike, base, or handle-type devices; and when more than one tube is mounted on a common base, total pyrotechnic composition shall not exceed 200 grams.
(6) 
A pyrotechnic device that is made to attach to a post or other surface that revolves producing a shower of color, sparks, and sometimes a whistling effect, and that may have one or more drivers, each of which contains no more than 60 grams of pyrotechnic composition and the total will contain no more than 200 grams total pyrotechnic composition.
(7) 
A small rapidly spinning device containing no more than 20 grams of pyrotechnic composition venting out on or fire usually on the side of the tube that when ignited produces a shower of sparks and colors; ground spinner is similar in operation to wheel, but is intended to be placed flat on the ground and ignited.
(8) 
Narrow paper tube filled with pyrotechnic composition that produces color and sparks upon ignition. These devices do not use a fuse for ignition. The paper at one end of the tube is ignited to make the device function.
B. 
The possession and use of aerial devices are prohibited:
(1) 
Aerial spinners;
(2) 
Helicopters;
(3) 
Mines;
(4) 
Missile-types rockets;
(5) 
Roman candles;
(6) 
Shells; and
(7) 
Stick-type rockets.
C. 
The possession and use of ground audible devices are prohibited:
(1) 
Chasers; and
(2) 
Firecrackers.
D. 
Combination items consist of fireworks and/or devices containing combinations of two or more of the permissible effects described herein.
E. 
Items listed in this section are not classified as common fireworks by the US Department of Transportation.
(1) 
Pressed pellet of pyrotechnic composition that produces a snake-live ash upon burning. The ash expands in length as the pellet burns. These devices may not contain mercuric thiocyanate.
(2) 
Tube or sphere containing pyrotechnic composition that produces white or colored smoke upon ignition as the primary effect.
(3) 
Wire coated with pyrotechnic composition that produces a shower of sparks upon ignition. These items may not contain magnesium and must not exceed 100 grams of composition per item. Devices containing any chlorate or perchlorate salts may not exceed five grams of composition per item.
(4) 
Item that produces a small report intended to surprise the user. These devices include:
(a) 
Small plastic or paper item containing not in excess of 16 mg of explosive composition that is friction sensitive. A string protruding from the device is pulled to ignite it, expelling paper streamers and producing a small report (noise).
(b) 
Small tube with string protruding from both ends, similar to a party popper in design. The ends of the string are pulled to ignite the friction sensitive composition, producing a small report.
(c) 
Small, paper-wrapped item containing a minute quantity of explosive composition coated on small bits of sand. When dropped, the device explodes, producing a small report.
(d) 
Kitchen or book match that has been coated with a small quantity of explosive or pyrotechnic composition. Upon ignition of the match, a small report or a shower of sparks is produced.
(e) 
Small wooden peg that has been coated with a small quantity of explosive composition. Upon ignition of a cigarette containing one of the pegs, a small report is produced.
(f) 
Tube which contains pyrotechnic composition that produces a loud whistle and/or smoke when ignited. A small quantity of explosive, not exceeding 50 mg, may also be used to produce a small report. A squib is used to ignite the device.
DISTRIBUTORS
Person, firm, or corporation selling fireworks to wholesalers (jobbers) and retailers for resale.
EXPLOSIVE COMPOSITION
Chemical or mixture of chemicals that produces an audible effect by deflagration or detonation when ignited.
FIREWORKS
Any composition or device for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, deflagration, or detonation. Fireworks are further classified in the Act as Common Fireworks and Special Fireworks, as defined by the US Department of Transportation [CFR Title 49, Transportation, Parts 173.88(d), 173.100(r)]. Exception: The following items are not considered "fireworks" under the provisions of these regulations: model rockets, toy pistol caps, emergency signal flares, and matches.
HOME OCCUPATION
Any use customarily conducted entirely within a dwelling and carried on by the inhabitants thereof, which use is clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the structure for dwelling purposes and which does not change the character thereof, and does not adversely affect the uses permitted in the district of which it is a part.
A. 
Person, firm, or corporation importing fireworks from a foreign country.
B. 
Person, firm, or corporation bringing fireworks or causing fireworks to be brought within the jurisdiction of this article for subsequent sale.
MANUFACTURER
Person, firm, or corporation engaged in the manufacture of fireworks.
PERMISSIBLE FIREWORKS
Fireworks legal for sale and use in the City of Las Vegas, New Mexico, under the provision of this article.
PYROTECHNIC COMPOSITION
Mixture of chemicals that produces a visible or audible effect by combustion rather than deflagration or detonation. Pyrotechnic compositions will not explode upon ignition unless severely confined.
RETAILER
Person, firm, or corporation purchasing fireworks for resale to consumers.
SALESMAN
Individual employed by a factory, distributor, importer, or wholesaler who solicits, accepts, or receives orders for fireworks.
SPECIAL FIREWORKS
Larger fireworks designed primarily to produce visible or audible effects by combustion, deflagration, or detonation. This definition includes but is not limited to firecrackers containing more than 130 mg of explosive composition, aerial shells containing more than 40 grams of pyrotechnic composition, and other exhibition display items that exceed the limits for classifications as common fireworks.
WHOLESALER (JOBBER)
Person, firm, or corporation purchasing fireworks for resale to retailers.

§ 238-3 Permissible fireworks.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, or association to possess for sale within the City of Las Vegas, New Mexico, sell or offer for sale at retail, or use, within the City of Las Vegas, New Mexico, any fireworks other than the permissible fireworks herein enumerated.
B. 
Permissible fireworks for sale to the general public as that term is used in this article shall be understood to mean the following:
(1) 
Ground and hand-held sparkling devices.
(2) 
Combination items.
(3) 
Novelties and trick noisemakers.

§ 238-4 Public display; permit required.

A. 
The Fire Department may adopt reasonable rules and regulations for the granting of permits for supervised and controlled public displays of fireworks by the City, a civic organization, amusement park or other organization or group of individuals approved by the Fire Department. Such permits shall be granted on application to the Fire Department, approval by the governing body and the filing of a bond by the applicant as herein provided. Every such display shall be handled by a competent operator duly approved by the Fire Department and shall be of such composition, character and so located, discharged or fired as, in the opinion of the Department, not to be hazardous to property or endanger life.
B. 
Application for permits shall be made in writing at least 30 days in advance of the date of the display. After the permit has been granted, the sale, possession, use and distribution of fireworks for such display shall be lawful for that purpose only. No such permit granted shall be transferable.
C. 
Applicants for permits shall furnish a bond of not less than $1,000 conditioned on compliance with this section and the rules and regulations of the Fire Department. The bond shall be approved by the City Attorney. The City shall not be required to file a bond.
D. 
Before any permit for fireworks display shall be issued, the applicant shall furnish proof of financial responsibility to satisfy any claims for damages to property or personal injuries arising out of any act or omission on the part of the applicant or any agent or employee in such amount, character and form as the City Attorney determines necessary for the protection of the public.
E. 
Any fireworks that remain unfired after an approved display is concluded shall be immediately disposed of in a manner safe for the particular type of fireworks and approved by the Fire Department.

§ 238-5 Administration and enforcement.

The City of Las Vegas Fire Department, the City of Las Vegas Police Department and the City of Las Vegas Code Enforcement Division shall be charged with the responsibility of enforcing this article. All license applications shall be submitted to the Code Enforcement Division.

§ 238-6 License fees.

A. 
All licenses shall be for a period of one year, beginning on January 1. Applications for licenses shall be made to the City of Las Vegas Code Enforcement Division, and shall be for the amount indicated below:
(1) 
Manufacturer: $50.
(2) 
Distributor: $35.
(3) 
Wholesaler (jobber): $35.
(4) 
Importer: $35.
(5) 
Retailer: $35.
B. 
Those retail businesses who have current business registration licenses from the City of Las Vegas are exempt from the licensing requirements of this article.

§ 238-7 Discharge of fireworks.

A. 
No fireworks shall be discharged within 150 feet of any fireworks retail sales location.
B. 
It shall be unlawful to explode or ignite fireworks within 150 feet of any church, hospital, school building or gas station.
C. 
No person shall ignite or discharge any fireworks within or throw the same from a motor vehicle while within, nor shall any person place or throw any ignited article of fireworks into or at such a motor vehicle, or at or near any person or group of people.
D. 
It shall be unlawful for a person under the age of 16 years to discharge fireworks without the physical presence and supervision of an adult.

§ 238-8 Retail sales of fireworks.

A. 
In retail sales location, any fireworks devices that are readily accessible to handling by consumers or purchasers must have their fuses protected in such a manner as to protect against accidental ignition of any item by a spark, cigarette ash, or other ignition source.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for persons under the age of 16 to possess with the intent to sell, or offer for sale, any fireworks.
C. 
Each retail sales location shall have visibly posted "No Smoking" signs and shall be equipped with at least a five-pound ABC fire extinguisher.
D. 
Retail sales of fireworks will not be permitted as a home occupation.
E. 
It shall be unlawful to sell fireworks to any intoxicated person and children under the age of 16.
F. 
The Fire Department Chief (or his designee) may request from a license holder two samples of any device being sold within the City of Las Vegas to test for compliance with this article.
[Amended 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 11-10]

§ 238-9 Selling dates.

Permissible fireworks may be sold at retail between June 20 and July 6 of each year and six days preceding and including New Year's Day and three days preceding and including the 16th of September and Cinco De Mayo of each year and including Chinese New Year.

§ 238-10 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any individual, firm, partnership, or corporation that violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both. Each day this article is violated shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
The Code Enforcement Division is also authorized to cancel any license where, after a proper hearing, after filing of a complaint in Municipal Court, it is determined that the violation was willfully performed.
C. 
The Code Enforcement Division, the City of Las Vegas Fire Department and the Las Vegas Police Department shall also have the right of proper seizure of any illegal fireworks, and, upon conviction, any license held by that individual, firm, corporation, or partnership under this article may be revoked.

§ 238-11 Citation; penalty assessments.

[Amended 4-10-2013 by Ord. No. 13-04]
The following offenses constitute "penalty assessment municipal violations" as defined in Chapter 179, Code Enforcement Citations, of the Las Vegas City Code. The following penalty assessments are hereby established:
Penalty Assessment
Common Name and Offense
Section Violated
First Offense
Second Offense
Subsequent Offenses
Unlawful sale of fireworks
§§ 238-3 and 238-8
$100
$300
$500
Unlawful use of fireworks
§§ 238-3 and 238-7
$150
$300
$500
[Adopted 6-19-2000 by Ord. No. 99-35]

§ 238-12 Short title.

This article may be referred to as the "Fireworks Control Ordinance."

§ 238-13 Purpose.

This article is intended to preserve and to protect the general health, safety and welfare of the City of Las Vegas during periods of emergency and extreme or severe drought as proclaimed by the governing body.

§ 238-14 Jurisdiction.

This article is enacted pursuant to authority granted to the governing body by its Charter and its police power.

§ 238-15 Liberal construction.

This article, being necessary to secure the public health, safety, convenience and welfare, shall be liberally construed to affect its purpose.

§ 238-16 Ban enforceable upon enactment of resolution.

This article is enforceable only if the governing body issues a resolution declaring a condition of extreme or severe drought following the procedures established by the City Charter, or by local ordinance, and is only enforceable during periods of times that this resolution is enforced.

§ 238-17 Display fireworks.

The "sale or use of" means devices primarily intended for commercial displays that are designed to produce visible or audible effects by combustion, deflagration or detonation, including salutes containing more than 100 milligrams of explosive composition; aerial shells containing more than 40 grams of chemical composition exclusive of lift charge; and other fireworks exhibition display items within the municipal boundaries of the City of Las Vegas are prohibited. The City Fire Marshal shall have the authority and discretion to terminate or modify the ban.

§ 238-18 Violations and penalties.

The penalty for violation of this article shall be a fine of $500 and/or 90 days in jail. Fine will be assessed by any police, fire, or code enforcement officer(s). Citations will be tried by the Municipal or Magistrate Court.