When I was a kid, fireworks were legal. You could go to Carl's Superette and get boxes and boxes of sparklers, poppers, snakes, m-80s, and more.

Then, they weren't legal.

Then, they're legal again?

Anyone else confused?

Here's the real deal on New York State's regulations regarding fireworks: the sale and use of a specific category of consumer fireworks known as "sparkling devices" are legal.

So what's the difference between fireworks and "sparking devices"?

The New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services says sparking devices, "are ground based or handheld devices that produce a shower of colored sparks and or a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke. The law limits the type, size and construction of Sparkling Devices and requires that these devices must be hand held or mounted on a base or spike and be limited in sizes that range from 1 to 500 grams of pyrotechnic composition."

For the full text of the regulations, click here.