California's Fireworks Law, passed in 1938, established the Office of the State Fire Marshal (SFM) as the only fireworks classification authority in California. Fireworks are classified through laboratory analysis, field examinations and test firing of items. As part of the program, SFM requires the licensing of all pyrotechnic operators, fireworks manufacturers, importer-exporters, wholesalers, retailers, and public display companies. Pyrotechnic operators who discharge fireworks at public displays or launch high powered and experimental rockets, must also pass a written examination and provide proof of experience.
The State's Explosives Law authorizes the California State Fire Marshal to adopt regulations for the safe use, handling, storage and transportation of explosives. Under those regulations local law enforcement agencies track the location of storage magazines within their jurisdictions through a permit process. Special exemptions have been provided within the regulations to allow for limited possession and storage of some explosives, such as black powder, used by hunters and the sporting community.