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.

Beginning July 3rd, additional officers will be out working specialized enforcement shifts as they relate to the use of…

Posted by Broken Arrow Police Department on Tuesday, July 2, 2019

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?

Summer is here and so are the firework complaints.We understand, many people think fireworks are harmless and fun and…

Posted by Roxbury Township Police Department on Monday, July 1, 2019

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.

If it sizzles after it pops, and looks like this, you know very well it's not gunfire. Don't call 911."I don't like…

Posted by Henry County Police Department on Sunday, June 30, 2019

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  1. What happened to 3) ?


    1. Ooh look who knows how to count!

  2. Back in my day, we’d have bottle rocket fights in the desert using PVC tubes as launchers that make burning man look like a GOP convention.

  3. The great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania legalized fireworks two years ago. Free State Project, here we come!

    1. Your tween son blowing three fingers off with a homemade pipe bomb packed with firecrackers is the real libertarian moment.

      1. Not libertarian moment, *teaching* moment. “See, kid, that’s why you don’t pick up duds! Now buck up, I have two more tubes to light off before I can drive you to the ER.”

    2. Yup. And for two years the reaction of Teh Authorities has been to lecture everybody about why this was A Bad Idea. As opposed to, say, setting up neighborhood sites where folks could set off their legal fireworks with local fire equipment and EMTs standing by.

      Kinda like the British Elite’s reaction to the Brexit vote, write small and petty.

  4. It’s getting so easy to hate everyone.

  5. We understand, many people think fireworks are harmless and fun and we are a bunch of jerks trying to ruin your parties.

    You are.

    There are brand new parents down the street who have been trying to get their newborn to sleep for the past hour

    Fake news. Newborns don’t sleep at night.

  6. The Henry County PD had me right up until they said “Some of y’all don’t listen to enough Lee Greenwood and it shows”

    One note is too much Lee Greenwood.

  7. I won’t speak for other places but here in California fireworks can easily start a fire that could cause massive death and destruction. I think we can live without that kind of fun.

    1. I won’t speak for other places but here in California fireworks can easily start a fire that could cause massive death and destruction.

      Yeah – I have mixed feelings on this one. I find the bans annoying, and I certainly think it should be a county thing at the largest, but in CA this time of year, if you look too hard at the grass it bursts into flame.

      1. I wonder if Cali is sane like Texas, and only bans firework displays when it hasn’t rained in a while, or if they are just doing blanket bans…..Also,

        1. In CA in July it is pretty much guaranteed not to have rained in a couple of months.

          1. In CA in July it is pretty much guaranteed not to have rained in a couple of months.

            ^ This. Hasn’t rained since April, which is normal. Probably won’t rain again until October, at the earliest.

      2. I have mixed feelings on this one.

        I have mixed feelings about massive death and destruction happening in California.

      3. I have sympathy for a ban in California to the exact extent that the authorities also arrest anyone who uses fire in a ‘protest’.

      4. Wow. If the landscape is that hazardous, maybe people should not live there.

        1. The landscape needn’t be that hazardous. If they had cleared dead brush and trees, and thinned the healthy trees, it wouldn’t be that bad. If they had allowed controled burns, or even more frequent normal fires it wouldn’t be that bad. The fire conditions in CA are a direct consequence of bad forest management driven by dumb environmentalism.

          When you have an environmental policy based on ‘nothing should change, ever’, you are guaranteed to fail. And if you thwart nature long enough, eventually you get run over like a cat on the freeway.

          I’ve spent some vacations on barrier islands. And every one of them had a local group that wanted bazillions of dollars spent to keep the island from eroding.

          Hello! Eroding is what freaking barrier islands DO!

    2. Yeah I worry about that too even here where I live in basically the swamp. Shit gets dry in that hot sun.

  8. The 4th of July is a racist holiday because the Declaration of Independence was written by a slave owner. If you celebrate tomorrow YOU’RE a racist!

  9. No free-market environmentalists here, apparently.

    Fireworks are noisy; have deleterious effects on air quality; leave shreds of paper, bits of plastic, snippets of fuse, and traces of chemicals laying about haphazardly; and can indeed result in serious injuries and/or inadvertent fires.

    In light of such adverse effects, such fines seem quite trivial. Don’t like your city’s laws? Do like everyone else who has a modicum of respect for their neighbors and drive out of town to blow shit up.

    1. Quit trying to be OBL, please.

      1. Is this a “Fuck off, hihn” moment?

        I don’t know, honestly, maybe it’s a “herp derp ur a paedo, chemjeff” situation.

        Either way, or neither, maybe try formulating an actual retort?

      2. Or, as seems more likely to me, your comment was intended for IceTrey’s comment, immediately preceding mine.

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  11. The white man’s laws don’t hold on the Res. On the fourth, the main road going through the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation in OK was like a freaking war zone.

    1. The city of Mustang lets everyone use the park. It’s absolutely insane.

  12. I remember being in Ogden, Utah a few years ago on the Fourth, in a hotel where we had a good view to the north. It was wall-to-wall fireworks everywhere we could see.

    Go, you Saints.

    1. My old very suburban neighborhood outside Houston looked like Baghdad on every July 4th.

  13. It is a very odd post that mentions government restrictions on fireworks in Illinois without mentioning that they’re fucking illegal to buy in the state

    1. Well, they quoted the article about Peoria incorrectly.
      That entire list (basically the actual fun fireworks) is prohibited statewide, but the only places that seem to care are big city and suburban governments, and even they don’t care too much if you stick to setting stuff off on the 4th.

      In Southern Illinois on the other hand, I’ve seen ISP officers in uniform buying the good stuff from fireworks stands across the river in Missouri. The only people who get in trouble for shooting off fireworks round those parts are jackasses who set em off at 2AM, or damage someone else’s property, or damage your own such that it requires a fire response.

  14. Number 1 is backwards, hand-held fireworks, firecrackers, and roman candles are on the list of *UNACCEPTABLE* fireworks, and its not just Peoria, those are illegal in all of Illinois (not that it stops anyone)

  15. Same as it always been…. I remember when my father and I were shooting off “illegal” fireworks from the the front porch of our newly built home in suburbia St. Louis County in 1967… Dad lit off a string of Black Cat firecrackers and gave them a toss into the middle of the street. Before any of them ignited a STL County PD cruiser crested the hill before our house and the Black Cats went off at the moment he drove over them in a rapid fire burst of orange-red explosions. It was glorious and could not have been timed any better. The cop slammed on the brakes and screeched to a halt. My Dad and I bolted round back and made our get away thru the backdoor. My heart was pounding as the Cop knocked on the front door while my Dad was shushing my Mom to be quiet, she was wondering WTF was going on. His knocking ignored the cop stomped off back to his car……and nothing else happened. I can’t think of a more apt day to thumb your nose at the Govt.

  16. It’s one day a year. Shut up, bitches.

    1. Who cares if Antifags commit acts of vandalism against corporate targets, block city streets (preventing the free movement of others), disrupt opposing political speech, torch private vehicles, and attack people who look/think different than them?

      I mean, as long as they only do it all on May 1st… Oh, wait, you wish to say they do those things year-round?

      Well, it sure is a good thing no patriotic American citizen ever breaks fireworks statutes on any day other than July 4th!

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  18. What a bunch of fucking commies. Seriously, the 4th of July has become a reminder of government restrictions and fucking freedom hating commies that push them. The whole idea was for people to celebrate their freedom however the fuck they wanted. Now it’s a competition among nanny state asshole, narcs, bootlickers and jack boots to see who can screw over some kids trying to have fun or some jackass being a jackass.

    The same idiots in here with ‘They might start a fire.’ are the same idiots proclaiming we need to restrict weapons ‘because they might fall into the wrong hands.’

    Freedom isn’t clean and orderly. Freedom isn’t what happens next because that’s how you and your asshole friends want it to happen next. Freedom ins’t telling people how you’ll allow them to talk. Freedom ins’t telling people how you’ll allow them to defend themselves and it damn sure isn’t telling people how you’ll allow them to celebrate their freedom.

    Fucking commies…

    1. Yes. Clearly, freedom is just too risky, noisy, and annoying to let people have any.

    2. So freedom doesn’t include private property rights?

      What sort of libertarian are you, exactly?

  19. Back in the ’70s in NY, we’d get our fireworks from the cop on our street who I assume confiscated them from other people. His only admonition was not to blow our fingers off.

    Our neighborhood in NH usually sounds like they are reenacting the Revolutionary War. We only hate the really loud ones as our dog gets nervous from them.

  20. I remember walking up to the counter at the corner drug store when I was a kid and asking for a pound of potassium nitrate. The druggist would simply hand it to me and tell me the price. I’m sure he knew what I was doing with it. Today, he would call the FBI and CPS.

  21. Well, I just lit off some seriously cool stuff, and nobody said “boo”. There are days I’m ashamed to admit I’m a Hoosier, but this isn’t one of them.

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  23. “You don’t want to be that idiot who blows a phalanx off, do you?”

    1. A body of troops or police officers standing or moving in close formation.”

    Maybe I do want to be that idiot…

  24. Superb. Also, get Independence Day Wishes

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