Regulating Things That Go Boom Takes More Than Just Legislation

One area resident was charged on July 4 with discharging an explosive firework while a Dunkirk woman was taken to the Erie County Medical Center after she was hit by a firework lit by a neighbor.

The Dunkirk incident is more proof that people should leave fireworks to the professionals each year, particularly since all consumer fireworks, including firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, spinners and aerial devices remain illegal statewide. Sparkling devices are legal unless a county government opts out of the state’s direction on them.

The state’s prohibition on fireworks is somewhat a joke, however, considering the fireworks being shot off throughout Mayville prior to the village’s official — and spectacular — fireworks show. Fireworks can be purchased pretty easily when one purchases groceries or with a quick trip down I-86 into Pennsylvania.

In late June, New York state took steps to more heavily regulate another explosive substance called tannerite. The substance is made when two other substances are combined. Area residents may remember unexplained loud explosions that authorities later blamed on tannerite. One of those instances in Busti several years ago rattled windows miles away from the blast after 18 pounds of tannerite were detonated.

The state’s new directions on tannerite state the substance can’t be sold unless a store has a certificate from the state. Those found in possession of tannerite can face fines up to $2,500.

As we know from the Fourth of July weekend, area residents love things that go boom. We also know the state’s action isn’t worth the paper it is printed on unless local law enforcement have the time and staff to actually enforce the regulation.


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