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Erie County DA issues warning to public in response to growing number of fireworks complaints

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Posted at 10:50 AM, Jun 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-23 17:19:12-04

ERIE COUNTY (WKBW) — Erie County District Attorney John Flynn has issued a warning to the public on the dangers and potential charges that could come along with setting off fireworks.

The district attorney's office says several local police departments are reporting an increase in calls related to fireworks complaints recently.

7 Eyewitness News has spoken with several Western New Yorkers who have voiced their frustrations on the issue.

Captain Jeff Rinaldo said the Buffalo Police Department is experiencing an uptick in fireworks related calls as well.

The district attorney's office says setting off fireworks is not only dangerous and disruptive, but also illegal.

"In addition to being a nuisance for neighbors, setting off fireworks in a residential area can have a negative impact on people, animals, and property," the DA's office said in a release. "Fireworks can cause serious injury or death to people using them or to those nearby. Fireworks are explosives that have the potentional to set fire to nearby homes and other properties.

"The sound of fireworks can cause distress for individuals with PTSD or other medical conditions, pets, and wildlife."

The DA's office says if you're setting off illegal fireworks you could potentially face the following charges:

  • Unlawfully Dealing with Fireworks and Dangerous Fireworks: The sale of illegal fireworks (roman candles, bottle rockets, mines, pyrotechnics, etc.) is a Class “B” misdemeanor. Possession of these illegal fireworks is a violation.
  • Disorderly Conduct: Intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof: making unreasonable noise. This charge is a violation.
  • Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree: Recklessly engaging in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. This charge is a Class “D” felony.
  • Section 293 of the Buffalo City Ordinance prohibits unreasonable noise. Cities, towns, and villages may have a similar ordinance.