The freedom to purchase and use fireworks in Mississippi

By Aaron Rice
July 2, 2020

Mississippi has some of the most consumer friendly laws in the country when it comes to buying and using fireworks.

You have probably noticed temporary firework stands set up near your house in the past couple weeks and that is because Mississippi has a defined selling period. Retailers can sell fireworks during the two busiest seasons; from June 15 through July 5 and from December 5 through January 2. And what retailers can sell and you can purchase is largely wide open. 

But while state law provides for much freedom, many municipalities limit the use of fireworks in their city limits. Though not exhaustive, here is the rundown of whether fireworks are legal or illegal in Mississippi cities. 

Fireworks are legal in the following cities:

Bay St. Louis, Horn Lake, Jackson (as of 2011), Natchez, Nettleton, Waveland.

The use of fireworks are banned in the following cities:

Aberdeen, Amory, Biloxi, Columbus, Corinth, D’Iberville, Diamondhead, Fulton, Hattiesburg, Hernando, Laurel, Long Beach, Meridian, Moss Point, Ocean Springs, Olive Branch, Oxford, Pascagoula, Pass Christian,  Petal, Poplarville, Ridgeland, Southaven, Starkville, Tupelo, Vicksburg, West Point.

Disclosure: These regulations are based on recent news stories. Check with local authorities for most updated ordinance. 

The default appears to be illegal, while it is largely legal in unincorporated portions of the counties. 

One of the most common refrains from limiting fireworks is safety concerns and injuries caused by fireworks. But a 2017 report from the U.S. Consumer Safety Commission says “there is not a statistically significant trend in estimated emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries from 2002 to 2017.”

Rest assured, you are more likely to get injured from children’s toys then from fireworks-related injuries. 

Noise is the other big complaint concerning fireworks, particularly after a certain time. Of course, municipal noise ordinances can and already do police that issue.  

So as you celebrate the day which marks our freedom from the tyranny and oppression of another country, make sure you don’t run afoul with our own government regulators that have taken it upon themselves to limit your freedoms.


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