News In Focus
Sale of fireworks comes under question in new consultation
A possible ban on the sale of fireworks to the Scottish public is among the questions put in a new Scottish Government consultation.
Scottish ministers are considering the use and regulation of fireworks in order to ensure people can enjoy displays safely, following concerns about their misuse and the potential impact on public safety and animal welfare.
Legislation on the sale and storage of fireworks is reserved to the UK Government, while laws covering their use are devolved.
For most of the year fireworks can only be sold by licensed traders, but in the run up to New Year, Chinese New Year and the Hindu festival Diwali, and for the three weeks before Bonfire Night, traders registered with their local authority to store fireworks do not require a specific sales licence. Local authorities have no powers to refuse registration at these times.
Restrictions are placed on when fireworks can be used. During most of the year fireworks can only be used between 7am and 11pm. On 5 November fireworks can be used until midnight, and on the nights of Chinese New Year, Diwali and New Year's Eve fireworks can be used until 1am.
Community Safety Minister Ash Denham launched the consultation, which apart from the possible ban, asks for views on what other measures can help ensure fireworks are used safely and responsibly.
Ms Denham said: "From conversations with members of the public and emergency service workers I am aware of concern about the use and sale of fireworks to individuals. We want to work with others to reduce the negative impact of fireworks and the public’s voice is vital in shaping our approach going forward.
"While much of existing legislation on the sale of fireworks is reserved to Westminster, we hope this consultation will identify any gaps in the law and highlight where the regulation of fireworks could be improved."
Click here to access the consultation. The deadline for responses is 13 May 2019.