Copyright © Buckley, Brion, McGuire & Morris LLP 

Photographs of West Chester PA by Jonathan Long, Esq.

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NEWS 

PA Commonwealth Court rules certain Fireworks Law (Act 43) provisions as unconstitutional in recent Phantom Fireworks Case (Case No. 21 M.D. 2018 filed on December 4, 2018)

 

The new PA Fireworks Law, which took effect on October 30, 2017, unleashed new regulations addressing the sale, use and storage of both consumer and display fireworks in Pennsylvania. The regulations loosen the restrictions on the sale and use of consumer fireworks and localities across the Commonwealth have voiced safety concerns. The recent 2018 Commonwealth Court case has the effect of removing “temporary structures” as locations from which consumer fireworks may be sold in Pennsylvania. Hence, consumer fireworks would need to be sold from traditional brick and mortar establishments. The Commonwealth Court held that all references and provisions related to “temporary structures” in Act 43 are unconstitutional and enjoin their enforcement. It is of interest to note that the Act 43 provisions were deemed unconstitutional on a procedural basis and not based upon any general health, safety or welfare concerns. It seems likely that vendors benefiting from the sale of consumer fireworks from temporary structures will rush to rectify this exclusionary action by seeking to amend the laws in place. For more information about this case or the implications of the Fireworks Law, please contact Kim Venzie at kvenzie@buckleyllp.com or at (610) 235-0238.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE – Unlawful Drone Use is a Criminal Offense & Not Within Municipalities’ Authority to Regulate by Local Ordinance

 

          On October 12, 2018, the Governor of Pennsylvania signed into law Act 78 of 2018 (former House Bill 1346) which will become effective January 10, 2019. As related to unmanned aircrafts, Act 78 makes it a criminal offense to intentionally or knowingly conduct surveillance of another person in a private place, operate in a manner which places another person in reasonable fear of bodily injury, or to deliver contraband to inmates. The Act also provides that a municipality shall not regulate the ownership or operation of unmanned aircraft unless expressly authorized by statute, and provides that Act 78 preempts any local regulations. Thus, an unlawful use of unmanned aircrafts should be handled by law enforcement according to the regulations of state law. If you have any questions, please contact Kim Venzie at kvenzie@buckleyllp.com or at (610) 235-0238.