Fireworks Sales Remain Hot in Wayne County

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SALEM TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Celebrating our independence is taking on a whole new dynamic this year.

The state now allows the sale of aerial fireworks and for one shop in Wayne County, so far, it's made a difference.

Ray LaMonica lights a box of fireworks outside his store in the Hamlin area, the kind of fireworks now legal to buy for the first time if you live in Pennsylvania.

"Pennsylvanians have never had free and clear access to this product," LaMonica said.

Now that you can buy the big ones from what's dubbed the big room at Hamlin Fireworks, the change seems to be helping the bottom line. Customers are in buying the kinds of fireworks they weren't allowed to buy before.

"We get to shoot off the fireworks we never did before. We could see them but could never buy them," said Elizabeth Mascola of Newfoundland.

At LaMonica's Hamlin Fireworks, a section of the store is where Pennsylvania residents haven't been able to buy from every year until now. Now the whole store is open to everyone. The fireworks Pennsylvanians could purchase previously come with a six percent sales tax; the rest of the store has an 18 percent sales tax.

"Anybody purchasing fireworks, now they're paying 20 percent more than the price on the shelf," said LaMonica.

Still, customers are paying the extra price for the once-illegal fireworks, now driving business to shops that carry what they've wanted all along.

"The other day I was at a friend's graduation and they were already shooting off fireworks. I was like, 'I got to get some,'" said Elijah Tyte.

LaMonica is expecting sales to pick up on the holiday and maybe after.

"We were hoping we'd get the weekend before, the holiday and the weekend following. That would have been a triple-header, but we'll be happy with one Fourth of July this year."

Access to aerial fireworks doesn't necessarily mean you can shoot them off wherever you want. There are local rules in cities, boroughs, and townships that may or may not require a permit to do it.

See the full schedule of professional fireworks displays here.

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