On 29 June 2022, following a Scottish Parliament debate, the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill was passed, introducing a fireworks licensing system, with mandatory safety training, for people wishing to purchase and use fireworks. The bill further allows local authorities to designate firework control zones, restrictions on the supply and use of fireworks, and a new offence to criminalise the supply of fireworks and pyrotechnics to under-18s. Being in possession of a firework or other pyrotechnic in a public place, or at certain places or events, without reasonable excuse also becomes an offence.
The passage of the bill saw extensive consultation and stakeholder engagement, with the legislation receiving strong backing from a coalition of professional medical bodies including the BMA, The Royal College of Ophthalmology, and The British Society for Surgery of the Hand, along with support from emergency services and animal charities.
The bill is the final legislative part of work towards improvements in firework safety which began in 2019, following a consultation on the use of fireworks which gathered 16,000 responses, leading to the creation of the Fireworks Action Plan and the establishment of the Firework Review Group, who made a series of recommendations for legislative and non-legislative changes to reduce the harm and the disturbance from firework use.
A further consultation was held last year, ahead of the bill’s introduction, with an analysis of the responses showing that 84% of respondents agreed that a fireworks licensing system should be introduced in Scotland.
Source: Scottish Government, 29 June 2022