Fireworks and Pyrotechnics Bill: consultation analysis

Analysis report of the 'Use and Sale of Fireworks in Scotland, and tackling the misuse of pyrotechnics' consultation in 2021.


This report presents the analysis of responses to a consultation on the introduction of proposed new legislation on:

1. The sale and use of fireworks in Scotland;


2. Tackling the misuse of pyrotechnics.

The section on the sale and use of fireworks asked 19 questions on proposals for: a licence to purchase, possess and use fireworks; restricting the days fireworks can be sold and set off; no-firework areas; and a proxy purchasing offence.

The section on pyrotechnics posed eight questions, including on whether there should be a new offence of being in possession of a pyrotechnic in a public place without reasonable excuse or lawful authority, and whether police stop and search powers should be extended in this respect.

More detailed introductions are provided at the beginning of each section of the report.

The consultation opened on 20 June 2021 and closed on 15 August. The consultation paper is available at:

Number and profile of respondents

In total 1,747 responses were received. Of these, eight were removed as they were duplicate responses.[1] The remaining 1,739 responses were available for analysis.

Most responses were received through the Scottish Government's Citizen Space consultation hub. Where consent has been given to publish the response, it can be found at:

Respondents were asked to identify whether they were responding as an individual or on behalf of a group or organisation. Most responses (1,680 of those available for analysis) were submitted by individual members of the public. Sixty three individual respondents submitted a campaign-style response. These responses were focused on Section 2 (Tackling the misuse of pyrotechnics) but occasionally answered a small number of the closed questions at Section 1. These respondents drew on standard text when providing comments at Questions 20-24.

The remaining 64 responses were submitted by groups or organisations. Organisational respondents were allocated to one of 11 groups by the analysis team and the Scottish Government.[2]

A breakdown of the number of responses received by respondent type is set out in Table 1 below and a full list of organisational respondents can be found in Annex 1.

Table 1

Respondents by type



Animal - third sector or community group


Campaign group


Community council


Community group


Community safety partnership


Emergency service


Fireworks industry representative body


Fireworks retailer or events company


Local authority


Professional or representative body


Third sector – non animal-related


Total organisations




All respondents


Profile of workshop events

In addition to the main online consultation, 12 online workshop events were held. Eight of these events were open to anyone who wished to attend and four were for specific groups. These were:

  • The community in Pollokshields. This was attended by a Police Sergeant from the local Police Scotland office; two members of the local Community Council; and three residents (one of whom was also a professional firework operator).
  • Specialist firework retailers. This was attended by a representative from a specialist firework store and display company, a representative from a convenience store with firework sales as part of the business and a representative from a retail federation.
  • Sight loss organisations. This was attended by a member of staff from each of two third sector organisations and five Guide Dog owners/disabilities campaigners.
  • Trading Standards. This was attended by 23 people covering the following local authority areas: Glasgow; Fife; East Ayrshire; Dumfries and Galloway; South Ayrshire; Stirling; South Lanarkshire; Shetland Islands; Western Isles; North Ayrshire; Edinburgh; East Dunbartonshire; Highlands; Aberdeen City; East Lothian; Dundee; Scottish Borders; Shetland; Midlothian. There was also a representative of the Scottish Society for Chief Trading Standards Officers.

There were around 210 attendances across the 12 events, with the number of people attending each event ranging from three to 23. A number of people attended more than one event and a small number attended multiple events. In total, around 90-100 different individuals attended one or more of the events. Some of those who attended an event also submitted a response to the main online consultation.

The workshop events each covered four themes relating to the introduction of new legislation on the sale and use of fireworks in Scotland:

  • Requiring general public & community groups to meet mandatory conditions before they can purchase fireworks (equating to Section One, Part One, Questions 1-7).
  • Restricting days fireworks can be set off by general public, and restricting days fireworks can be sold to general public (equating to Section One, Part Two, Questions 8-9).
  • No-fireworks areas where it is not permitted for general public to set fireworks off (equating to Section One, Part 3, Questions 10-15).
  • Proxy purchasing offence to criminalise supply of fireworks to under 18s (quilting to Section One, Part 4, Question 16).

Analysis and reporting

This report presents a question-by-question analysis. A summary table is presented at each of the closed questions, with a full breakdown of responses by type of organisation included in Annex 2.

Some respondents did not make their submission using the consultation questionnaire but submitted their comments in a statement-style format. This content was analysed qualitatively under the most directly relevant consultation question.

Other points to note are:

  • The comment rate at each question is set out in Annex 3. It ranged from 1,271 providing a further comment at Question 1 to 92 providing a comment at Question 27.
  • Most individual respondents made only brief comments, while some organisations provided much longer or more complex responses.
  • In most cases the analysis of comments is structured according to arguments made in support of or opposition to a proposal, rather than how a respondent answered a closed question. This reflects the fact that the same points were sometimes raised by those agreeing, disagreeing or unsure. For example, at Question 8, a respondent might have agreed to the proposed restrictions on the days when fireworks can be used at the closed question, but gone on to say that they would prefer the restrictions to be tighter still. Equally a respondent might have disagreed at the closed question but gone on to make the same point as a respondent who had agreed, that they thought the restrictions should be tighter.

The analysis of further comments covers both responses to the standard consultation and issues raised at the workshop events. A summary of the themes raised at the workshop events is provided at the end of the analysis of the comments on Parts One to Four of Section One. Otherwise, references to comments made by particular respondents are taken from standard responses unless otherwise stated.

Finally, and as with any public consultation exercise, it should be noted that those responding are self-selecting and generally have a particular interest in the subject area. Therefore, the views they express cannot necessarily be seen as representative of wider public opinion.



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