4th of July

Here's What's Standing in the Way of Your Independence Day Fireworks

From fireworks task forces to local snitches.


Private fireworks are an American pastime under siege, but they probably shouldn't be. Vox reports that 2018 saw the lowest number of fireworks-related injuries since the mid-1970s: just 3.2 injuries per 100,000 pounds of fireworks, despite the fact that Americans purchased 277 million pounds of fireworks total in 2018, one of the largest volumes on record.

Until the nannies come to their senses, freedom lovers aren't just playing with fire, but also the administrative and police states. Here are some of the ways busybodies are hoping to cramp your freedom when the sun goes down. 

1. Government-approved fireworks 

The police and fire department of Peoria, Illinois, released a list of acceptable fireworks for July 4th. The list includes hand-held fireworks, firecrackers, and roman candles. Those found to be violating the city's fireworks ordinances can expect a nice little $250 citation.

2. Permit police

The police department in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, announced that dedicated officers "will be out working specialized enforcement shifts" to combat the illegal use of fireworks, which includes setting them off outside the allotted time frame. Officers will also check "fireworks permit compliance" throughout the evening. Firing up without a permit can cost you $295.


3. Public shaming

The Roxbury Police Department in New Jersey is attempting to guilt citizens into following the law. Think of your neighbors, for goodness sake! You don't want to be that idiot who blows a phalanx off, do you? Oh, and don't forget that some of your private light show could be illegal. If this post doesn't sway you, what will?


4. Crackdowns

Residents of Riverside, California, can rest easy tonight knowing police seized some illegal projectile fireworks. Thanks to an anonymous tip, police were able to swoop in and seize 1,000 pounds of brightly colored contraband this week. The mastermind behind the operation was a local business owner who sells "Safe and Sane" fireworks, which are otherwise legal. The business owner was also giving illegal fireworks to Instagram influencers for free with the hopes that their social media fame would bring in more revenue. Such a hustle deserves our respect.

5. Snitches

The Henry County Police Department in Georgia is preparing for an influx of fireworks complaints. Officers are asking callers to save emergency calls for actual emergencies so that the department will have enough resources to respond to alcohol-related car accidents. "I don't like loud noises," in other words, is not a good enough reason to narc on your neighbors.