Proposals for new legislation on the sale and use of fireworks and tackling the misuse of pyrotechnics have been put out to consultation by the Scottish Government.
Plans for a Fireworks and Pyrotechnics Bill follow the report of an independent Fireworks Review Group which recommended tightening legislation to reduce the harm fireworks can cause.
Regulations are already in place to implement the group’s recommendations to restrict the times of day fireworks can be supplied to the general public, the number that can be supplied, and the times fireworks can be set off by the public. The remaining recommendations, including the introduction of mandatory conditions at point of sale and no-firework zones, require primary legislation.
All adults aged 18 or over could be required to apply for a licence before they can purchase fireworks, with applicants being required to complete an online safety training course. It would become an offence to supply adult fireworks to people under the age of 18.
Local authorities could be provided with the power to introduce community level no-firework areas, perhaps near animal shelters, hospitals or livestock. The introduction of any such areas would be informed by a local community consultation process, with clear systems in place for communities to have a say in where these no-firework areas should be.
Views are also sought on the creation of a new offence of carrying a pyrotechnic device in a public place without reasonable excuse or lawful authority, and on the extension of police powers to allow a stop and search provision in relation to carrying pyrotechnics without a justifiable cause.
Community Safety Minister Ash Denham commented: "Following the overwhelming results of the public consultation on fireworks that took place in 2019 it was clear fireworks are an important issue to the people of Scotland and that there is a strong appetite for change to improve safety."
She added: "I am committed to making our communities safer and to taking strong action now to avoid harm, distress and injury and I would encourage everyone with an interest to have their say."