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Closed petition Ban the sale of fireworks to the general public

Purchasing and owning fireworks should not be allowed for the general public. The Government should introduce a law stating that fireworks should only be permitted for professional shows and events - this will mean they are handled safely, cleanly, and at predictable times.

More details

The negatives of fireworks outweigh the positives. Every year fireworks do the following:

- Stress out animals, often to point of causing death
- Trigger people with PTSD and trauma (e.g. soldiers)
- Harm those with sensory issues, due to the unpredictable noise
- Cause litter that is then left to rot
- Flood our already stretched A&Es with unnecessary injuries

I understand that they look pretty, however they do more damage than good. Pro shows enable people to still enjoy them, just considerately.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

50,288 signatures

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Government responded

This response was given on 1 November 2023

The Government has no plans to ban the sale of fireworks to the public but continues to monitor the situation. We believe the majority of individuals use fireworks safely and appropriately.

Read the response in full

The Government understands that people want to enjoy fireworks. We believe that the legislative framework controlling fireworks strikes the right balance and we have no plans to replace it at this time.

The Government's intention has always been to minimise any negative impact of fireworks and we support their considerate use, reducing the risks and disturbances to individuals, animals, and property. The majority of individuals who use fireworks do so in a responsible and safe manner and there are enforcement mechanisms in place to tackle situations when fireworks are misused. Local authorities and the police also have powers to tackle anti-social behaviour caused by the misuse of fireworks. It is for local areas to decide how best to deploy these powers, based on their specific circumstances. Whilst there is no evidence to suggest that there is a widespread issue with unsafe or illegal fireworks being used in the UK, the Government continues to work with the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities, including Border Force and Trading Standards, to take action against anyone who imports or sells fireworks illegally in the UK.

Existing legislation controls the sale, availability, and use of fireworks. For example, there is an 11pm curfew in place for the use of fireworks, with later exceptions only for the traditional firework periods of November 5th, Diwali, New Year’s Eve and the Chinese New Year. Using fireworks outside the curfew hours is a criminal offence enforced by the police and can lead to imprisonment and a substantial fine. Lower noise fireworks are commercially available to consumers to purchase if they wish to, potentially reducing any distress to vulnerable groups and animals.

A number of animal welfare and veterinary organisations also provide advice and guidance to enable people to minimise the impacts of fireworks on animal welfare. We are working closely with these organisations to amplify this messaging in the run up to, and during, key dates when fireworks are commonly used.

Individuals should always read the instructions on a firework before use, to ensure that they are aware of how to use the firework safely, reducing the risk of an accident or injury. In addition, fireworks should always be disposed of responsibly by ensuring they are out, soaking them in water overnight, then putting them in the appropriate bin. Guidance on safe use and disposal is widely available from various sources, including on Gov.uk.

Department for Business and Trade

Debate on petition about the sale and use of fireworks

We previously told you that this petition would be debated on 24 June 2024.

There will now be a General Election on 4 July. This means that the debate on this petition can no longer go ahead because all Parliamentary business will stop ahead of the election.

After the election, the new House of Commons will appoint new committees. It will be up to the new Petitions Committee to decide whether to schedule a new debate on this petition.

We don't know yet exactly when a new Petitions Committee will be appointed, but will update our website with news about the new Petitions Committee and reopening of the site. You can also follow us on X (formerly Twitter) at @HoCPetitions for updates.

We will let you know if a new Committee decides to schedule a new debate on this petition.

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