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Legislator Pushes For Legal Sales Of Fireworks

Legislation has been introduced in the state Legislature that would allow the sale of consumer fireworks between May and December each year.

A.6837 was introduced in the state Assembly last week by Ken Blankenbush, R-Black River. Blankenbush proposes a powder weight limit of 500 grams and licensing restrictions on the businesses that can sell fireworks.

No consumer sales would be allowed in a city with more than 1 million people or a county with a population of more than 1,250,000.

“In New York state, it is currently illegal to buy or use fireworks that project into the air,” Blankenbush wrote in his legislative justification. “Only sparkling devices are considered legal. Many New Yorkers often travel to Pennsylvania or other states that legally sell fireworks then bring them back to showcase here. Lifting the ban on fireworks and permitting consumers to buy or use them would be highly profitable for our state and bring in much needed revenue.”

Locally, a joint Illegal Fireworks Interdiction detail between the Jamestown Police Department and the New York State Police resulted in seven arrests before the Fourth of July weekend in 2020 and the seizure of a large quantity of fireworks. The Jamestown Police Department reported on June 17 that officers had responded to 65 complaint of fireworks so far this month compared to 31 complaints filed in June of 2019. Fireworks were also raised as an issue in Lakewood by John Bentley, former Lakewood-Busti police chief.

Within Chautauqua County, sparklers are allowed. These devices do not rise into the air, do not fire inserts or projectiles into the air and do not explode or produce an audible crackling sound.

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