Erie County DA warns public of potential charges for setting off illegal fireworks

Erie County

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB)–Erie County District Attorney John Flynn reminds residents setting off fireworks is an illegal activity.

His office contacted law enforcement agencies following complaints from Erie County residents.

Flynn says police in Amherst, Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Orchard Park, and West Seneca noted an increase in calls about fireworks in recent weeks.

“In addition to being a nuisance for neighbors, setting off fireworks in a residential area can have a negative impact on people, animals, and property. Fireworks can cause serious injury or death to people using them or to those nearby,” Flynn said. “Fireworks are explosives that have the protentional to set fire to nearby homes and other properties. The sound of fireworks can cause distress for individuals with PTSD or other medical conditions, pets, and wildlife.”

The DA’s Office says potential charges may include:

  • Unlawfully Dealing with Fireworks and Dangerous Fireworks: The sale of illegal fireworks (roman candles, bottle rockets, mines, pyrotechnics, etc.) is a Class “B” misdemeanor. Possession of these illegal fireworks is a violation.  
  • Disorderly Conduct: Intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof: making unreasonable noise. This charge is a violation.
  • Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree: Recklessly engaging in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. This charge is a Class “D” felony. 
  • Section 293 of the Buffalo City Ordinance prohibits unreasonable noise. Cities, towns, and villages may have a similar ordinance.

Troy Licastro is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of his work here.

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