NJ cops on the lookout for illegal fireworks
As July 4 approaches, you'll start to see a lot more of "the rocket's red glare" in Jersey.
Unfortunately, some of the rockets are illegal, and may be dangerous in the hands of the inexperienced.
State police say every year, some residents go out of state to Pennsylvania and elsewhere to buy fireworks illegally and then come back here to either use them or sell them. Lt. Brian Polite says while there are no arrest numbers readily available, "we do see the numbers kick up around this time of year, of course, because you have the fourth of July weekend."
He says there is a pretty signifigant harm to possessing fireworks in the State of New Jersey: "First, of all, there is a harm, as far as the danger that is associated with it. If young people or people who are not trained to use these fireworks get their hands on them, there can be significant consequences."
Polite says there is also financial harm if you are caught with illegal fireworks. Possession of fireworks is a disorderly persons offense. But possession of fireworks with the intent to sell is a fourth-degree offense with a possible maximum penalty of 18 months imprisionment and fines up to $10,000.
Polite also makes the point that with fireworks displays scheduled in towns across the Jersey this coming weekend, there is no reason to risk injury or arrest.
"There should be plenty of parks and different venues that are having fireworks displays over the holiday weekend. We just encourage people to take advantage of that, and do yourself a favor and do not get involved with using these fireworks on your own," Polite says.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor at New Jersey 101.5.
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