A little bang could bring big fines for fireworks in Longview - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

A little bang could bring big fines for fireworks in Longview

According to police, one ember can endanger a neighborhood. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV. According to police, one ember can endanger a neighborhood. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV.
LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

Most East Texas cities don’t allow setting off fireworks within the city limits, and Longview is no exception. There can be a citation and even a stiff fine.

Sgt. Shane McCarter, with the Longview Police Department, says there will be increased patrols on July 4 looking for drunk drivers and those who just can’t resist lighting a fuse.

“We do expect a higher call load; calls coming in for fireworks being discharged,” McCarter stated.

The reason for the ordinance is pretty obvious.

“Once you wind up exploding those inside the city limits, because of all the structures that are here, one of those embers could end up catching your neighbor’s house on fire, even a location several blocks away with the distance some of these fireworks can travel,” McCarter said.

The fire department will also have a fire marshal on patrol for the holiday.

And the city ordinance goes further than lighting fireworks; it also covers possession of them in the city limits. You can have them; just don’t take them out of the packaging.

“So if a package has been opened then each one of those individual fireworks, if inside the city limits, can typically be a violation of up to $2,000,” McCarter explained.

So the fine can be per firework if the package has been opened.

If someone is pulled over in the city and there are loose fireworks on the back seat they may not be there long.

“If they’re inside the vehicle the officer can confiscate those fireworks and then also write a ticket for the fireworks as well,” McCarter revealed.

And people sometimes forget it’s illegal to discharge a firearm in the city limits, celebratory or not.

“You’ve got to think, what goes up must come down at some point and where those bullets wind up landing could be inside somebody’s house, into a car, or God forbid into a person that’s randomly walking around a neighborhood,” McCarter added.

So you can have fireworks in the city of Longview if they’re still factory sealed. You can’t light them up, and you can’t have an opened package. If you do, and it doesn’t happen often, but each one of those black cats could cost two grand, and also disappear without a sound.

Confiscated fireworks are stored in a secured building on Longview Police Department property until they can be destroyed.  

Copyright 2017 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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