Flare “guns” are made of metal or plastic and commonly fire aerial signals propelled by shortened 12-gauge shotgun shells, which can travel as far as 500 feet and burn for as long as seven seconds.
“Pistol-launched and hand-held parachute flares and meteors have many characteristics of a firearm and must be handled with caution,” a USCG safety bulletin states. “In some states they are considered a firearm and prohibited from use.”
Flare guns may not be weapons but can be dangerous if misused. Check your state laws.