Massena police get complaints about fireworks

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MASSENA — Fireworks have hit the store shelves, and complaints about their use have hit the Massena Police Department.

But, finding the individuals who are setting off the fireworks is often difficult, according to village police.

Some types of fireworks are legal, including sparkling fountains (cylindrical and cone); sparklers on wooden sticks, but not metal; smoking devices; snakes; confetti-filled party poppers; and paper-wrapped snappers, village police said in a social media posting.

The fireworks that are sold around the county are legal and can be sold twice a year — from June 1 to July 5, and again from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.

The state had prohibited the sale of all fireworks until Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo agreed in November 2014 to allow individual counties and cities to allow sparkling devices if they passed their own local law.

Sparkling devices are ground-based or hand-held devices that produce a shower of colored sparks and/or a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke.

In June 2015, St. Lawrence County legislators voted 12-3 in favor of a new local law that allowed the sale of smaller-type fireworks including wooden sparkler sticks, cone and cylindrical fountains, poppers, snappers and other hand-held or ground-based sparkling devices.

All other types of consumer fireworks, including firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman candles, spinners and aerial devices, remain illegal statewide.

Police Chief Adam J. Love was out of town and unavailable for comment on Tuesday. But, he has previously said that any person who sets off illegal fireworks can be charged, and anyone shooting fireworks off after 10 p.m. can be cited for violating the village ordinance, which designates quiet times.

The difficulty with fireworks is identifying who has lit them off, which is a requirement under the law, Chief Love has noted. He said they need to see an individual light them or take a statement from someone who witnessed it, and many people will not provide a statement.

If they do pinpoint the individual shooting them off, he said that person will be charged.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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