Local law enforcement released stern warnings Friday to remind folks that fireworks are illegal to sell, possess and use in Contra Costa County and throughout Richmond.
Fireworks don’t just frighten neighborhood dogs. They’re illegal because they are dangerous, authorities say.
“We are taking this seriously and we will make arrests and issue citations when we see people in possession of these things,” said Richmond police Lt. Felix Tan, who said everything “except those sparklers” are against the law to have or use in city limits.
Those possessing fireworks that are powerful enough to be deemed explosives face a felony, Tan added.
The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff published a similar warning, saying dangerous fireworks like M-80s or cherry bombs may constitute a felony and “could result in fines of up to $5,000 and imprisonment,” the sheriff’s office said.
Contra Costa County is a ‘fireworks-free zone,” according to the sheriff’s office, meaning the sale, possession or use of all types and sizes (including Safe & Sane fireworks) are banned in both the unincorporated areas and cities.
“Deputy Sheriffs and officers on patrol will confiscate all fireworks,” the sheriff’s office said.
In addition to fireworks, Richmond police are pleading with the public to refrain from shooting off their guns during the Independence Day festivities.
“What goes up must come down, and that’s true with bullets,” Tan said, adding that someone in the city was killed by a falling bullet about 15 years ago.
Tan said police will be monitoring their ShotSpotter technology during the holiday to respond to incidents of gunfire and large fireworks.