Long Beach increased penalties for firecrackers last year but has not yet implemented them. • Long Beach Post News (2023)

Long Beach vowed to tighten fireworks before July 4 last year with a new law that allows the city to threaten homeowners with tens of thousands of dollars in fines if someone sets off fireworks on their properties.

But a year later, as residents continue to complain about fireworks before Independence Day, city officials say the tougher penalties they hoped would stop the bad behavior weren't enforced.

A year later, no one has been targeted by the city's "host liability" law, which allows prosecutors to issue civil penalties to landlords and charge them for using fire and police officers to stop fireworks.

The city issued 15 fireworks tickets around July 4 last year. Authorities also seized more than 23,000 pounds of fireworks and made 38 arrests in the months leading up to last year's holiday, but none of the cases were subject to attorneys' fees for host liability, which authorities said were $5,080 for small fireworks could differ. Impound at $19,460 for a larger one.

To prove these cases, the city last year asked residents to submit photos and videos of fireworks violations to an online portal, rather than relying on officials to see violations in person, as previous fireworks laws dictate.

Despite this, the city did not pursue any of the increased fines. Deputy City Manager Linda Tatum said the city decided against it because it tried to first educate residents about the higher penalties, since the new fines were passed just weeks before July 4.

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Rather than sparking lawsuits, evidence submitted to the fireworks complaints portal has guided what city officials are focusing their efforts to clarify about the new law.

City officials are confident the reconnaissance worked. ONEMemo released by the city last weekshowed fireworks service calls declined. In the April-June period, city data showed that visitor numbers dropped dramatically in 2021 (2,043) and 2022 (99). However, the dates for 2022 are only valid until May 12th.

Tatum said the city plans to start issuing the increased fines this year and urged residents to help by continuing to provide evidence. But some residents are already frustrated by the delay.

"Enforcement just isn't happening," said Joshua Hodges, who said he plans to stay indoors this bank holiday for fear his house will burn down. Last year, he explained, the empty field near his home in North Long Beach caught fire twice in one week; Then a neighbor's garage caught fire. Hodges blamed the fireworks for both.

Central and North Long Beach have been historic hotspots for fireworks, prompting Hodges to renovate his home with new windows and insulation as he and his wife prepare for the return of their newborn baby in 2021.

"Why should I spend so much money because the city and the police are not doing their job?" Hodges said.

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As they do every year, the Long Beach Police Department plans to flood the city with as many officers as possible during the holiday season. And Richard Mejia, a spokesman for the department, said officers were instructed to name anyone spotted setting off fireworks at the city limits. All fireworks are illegal in Long Beach.

But in addition to these police subpoenas, prosecutors can also impose their own fines – and police officers also play a role in this process. When police respond to 911 calls, officers are tasked with documenting evidence such as fireworks being set off and reviewing footage provided by neighbors.

The city attorney general can then use this information to impose the new "host liability" fines that can be imposed on landlords or landlords whose tenants may have broken the law.

These citations should include the cost of fire and police personnel responding to service calls, the time of the City Attorney's staff to review evidence, and any costs associated with disposing of fireworks.

In addition to civil penalties, the Long Beach District Attorney may also file criminal charges for misdemeanor against suspected criminals. However, these criminal cases do not guarantee punishment.

Most of the 34 Long Beach firecracker cases tried last year did not end in convictions, according to a review of records provided by the city's attorney general.

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Seven of the cases were dismissed or dismissed, and another 16 were handled through a process called "judicial evasion," which allows defendants to avoid conviction if they meet certain requirements set by the judge.

Assembly Bill 2124, which codified this process, gives judges wide latitude to stay misdemeanor trials for up to two years while the accused attend classes or perform community service. If all goes well, the judge closes the case.

The city's Attorney's Office records show that even some of the most serious fireworks cases, including the seizure of hundreds of pounds of fireworks for sale, resulted in a judicial diversion.

For example, on July 5, authorities allege that a man was caught firing mortar shells, which is illegal nationwide. He was cited by officials, but when his case came to court, a judge agreed to redirect the case if the man listened to a podcast about fireworks safety and did 10 hours of community service.

Another man accused last June of using OfferUp to try to sell more than £100 of illegal fireworks he had smuggled across the Arizona border, which could be charged with a felony under California law, received 100 hours community service and was required to watch a fireworks safety video and write a summary.

City Attorney Doug Haubert said some judges took the time to read victims' testimonies in court and refused to grant a judicial diversion, but expressed frustration with some who he says do not understand the scope of the fireworks issue .

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"Unfortunately, there's a lack of follow-up from some of the judges who just don't think fireworks are an issue, or they don't live in Long Beach, so they don't understand the magnitude of the issue because living there isn't an issue ' said Hoodert.

This year, Haubert says, the city is also trying a different enforcement strategy: Arming officials with formal warnings informing offenders that a second filing could prosecute them as harassing property.

Hodges said things had been a little better up until this weekend but he doesn't see the next few days as much different from previous years. He still expects to wake up on July 5 to a sulfur and potassium-scented fog blanketing his neighborhood.

After living in Long Beach for years, Hodges said he believes enforcement is the only thing that will control local use of fireworks, which is never limited to just July 4th.

"If it was a day for me, I probably wouldn't mind," he said.

The worst, without a doubt, centers around the Independence Day holiday.

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Another resident, Courtney Pettijohn, said she will avoid the blasts by living in an Indian Wells condo she is renting with money she cannot currently afford. However, the alternative is to force your dog Tank to undergo several days of anxiety and medication.

Pettijohn has lived in Long Beach her entire life, but "if that doesn't change, we're seriously considering moving," she said. “We love it here and I don't want to have to move. But I also think it's unfair to hear fireworks 24/7.”

FAQs

Are fireworks banned in Long Beach? ›

All fireworks are illegal in Long Beach. But in addition to those citations from police, the City Attorney's Office can also issue its own fines—and officers play a role in that process, as well.

How much is a ticket for selling illegal fireworks in California? ›

Consequences of violating California's fireworks laws can include a seizure of the fireworks 47and misdemeanor criminal charges. Penalties for the criminal charges can include: up to one year in a county jail, and. between $500 and $1,000 in fines (increasing to $1,000 or more for a second or subsequent conviction).

Why are fireworks illegal in Long Beach CA? ›

And, in order to keep the City's residents and visitors safe, all personal fireworks, even those deemed “Safe and Sane,” are illegal in the City of Long Beach.

What state has the strictest firework laws? ›

Where are fireworks illegal? There's only one state that completely bans all consumer fireworks, and that's Massachusetts. However, they do permit fireworks displays put on by professionals, so you can still catch a show for the 4th of July.

What time is the firework show in Long Beach 2022? ›

The City of Long Beach Fireworks Display takes place Friday, July 8 at dark (approximately 9:10pm) and is presented by The Breeze Oceanfront Apartments & Isla Blu Oceanfront Residences.

What cities in California banned fireworks? ›

Most of California's major cities ban fireworks, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, all of San Diego County, all of San Mateo County, and San Jose. Somewhat surprisingly, approved fireworks are permitted in Sacramento.

What is the fine for illegal fireworks in California 2022? ›

Supplying dangerous fireworks to minors is a misdemeanor subject to up to a year in jail or a fine of $500 to $1000 (or both). A second violation increases the fine to $5,000, and the person can't get probation. (Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 12700, 12702 (2022).)

How much does 30 minutes worth of fireworks cost? ›

Fireworks Pyromusicals: $1,000 to $2,000 per minute. Shows typically exceed $20,000.

What is the average markup on fireworks? ›

The average markup for fireworks is roughly three times the wholesale price, said Jay Zagorsky, an economist at Boston University's Questrom School of Business who has studied the fireworks industry. If you buy a case for fireworks for $100, he said, the business owner will likely rake in revenue of $300.

Can you light fireworks on the beach in Long Beach Washington? ›

Although personal fireworks may be legal on ocean beaches, State Parks, partners and law enforcement wish to remind people that fireworks are illegal on state park lands, including on beaches in front of Washington state parks. Please be respectful public and private property.

Can you light fireworks on the beach in California? ›

Fireworks MAY NOT be discharged: On any beach, wetlands, or public parks.

What happens if you use illegal fireworks in California? ›

Under California Health and Safety Code Fireworks Penalties, Section 12700(B), a person in possession of unaltered dangerous fireworks in violation of the State Fireworks Law is punishable as a misdemeanor or a public offense with fines ranging from $500 to more than $50,000, depending on the gross weight of unaltered ...

What state is the most lenient on fireworks? ›

The state that uses the least fireworks is Delaware, where there are no firework imports. Only 4 states have a ban on all consumer fireworks, including: Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware.

Which state has least firework laws? ›

Three states — Hawaii, Nevada, and Wyoming — allow each county to establish its own regulations. For example, in Nevada, Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, allows residents to purchase and use only non-explosive and non-aerial consumer (safe and sane) fireworks during the 4th of July.

What is the largest legal firework? ›

A: The legal limit of explosive material in a consumer (1.4G or Class C) firework is 50 mg (about the size of half an aspirin tablet). Any item containing more than 50 mg is illegal and should be avoided.

Where will the fireworks be in Long Beach? ›

July 4 Fireworks at Waterfront (July 4, 2022)

The best places to view the show are Marina Green, Lions Lighthouse for Sight, Rainbow Harbor, Shoreline Village, and the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center parking lot.

How long is the firework show at Long Beach? ›

The show will last for 30 minutes.

What time does Long Beach firework show start? ›

31, to say farewell to 2022 and welcome 2023, courtesy the Downtown Long Beach Alliance. The DLBA is organizing and sponsoring fireworks shows at 9 p.m. (midnight in New York City) and midnight this year. Harbor Breeze and Shoreline Village/Pacific Ocean Management are primary sponsors.

What cities in California allow safe and sane fireworks? ›

Safe and Sane fireworks are only legal in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Stanton, Villa Park, and Westminster. Buy only Safe and Sane fireworks that are State Fire Marshal approved.

Is there a country where fireworks are banned? ›

The Netherlands banned heavy fireworks in 2020, and 12 municipalities across the country — including Amsterdam and Rotterdam — have banned fireworks entirely.

Is 12677 HS a misdemeanor or felony? ›

HS 12677 Possession of illegal fireworks without a permit: This does not apply to “safe and sane” fireworks. Simple possession is a misdemeanor only offense, a conviction can land you in County Jail up to 1 year in County Jail and a fine up to $1,000.

How much is a firework permit in California? ›

DISPLAY FIREWORKS

“Limited” state license allows holding of a single display at a single location, $200 fee. “General” state license allows the holding and conducting of public displays of dangerous fireworks at various locations and at various times, $1,500 fee.

Are fireworks illegal in California 2022? ›

It is illegal to sell, transport, or use fireworks that do not carry the “Safe and Sane” seal, as well as possess or use fireworks in a community where they are not permitted. If convicted, a violator could be fined up to $50,000, as well as be sent to jail for up to one year.

How Much Does Disney pay for fireworks per night? ›

Walt Disney World in Orlando is the highest consumer of fireworks in the world. Though Disney does not disclose the cost of fireworks, rumor has it that Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams, which was replaced in 2017 by Happily Ever After, could cost anywhere from $41,000 to $55,000 a night.

How much does Walt Disney spend on fireworks every night? ›

Disney Parks doesn't disclose the cost of all their firework shows, but just the nightly 'Disney Enchantment' fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom costs about $25,000 a night.

Can you make good money selling fireworks? ›

Selling fireworks is a profitable and exciting business. You can make it as small as one tent or stand during the summer 4th of July season or year round with multiple locations. Whether you are looking to start a retail empire or just looking for extra income – selling fireworks is a great choice.

How much do you get paid to make fireworks? ›

The salaries of Fireworks Makers in the US range from $18,740 to $45,250 , with a median salary of $31,688 .

What is the most powerful firework? ›

This footage is of a 62-inch firework launched over Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It currently holds the Guinness World Record. The firework weighs nearly 2,800 pounds and measured nearly five feet in diameter and the shell alone was 7 inches thick.

Can you do bonfires at Long Beach? ›

Beach Fires

Campfires must be smaller than 4 feet on each side and 3 feet in height. Campfires must be 100 feet west of the dune line. Fires and barbecues are not allowed in the flammable dune grass area.

Can you light fireworks in seaside or beach? ›

SEASIDE HAS A ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY FOR ILLEGAL FIREWORKS. California fireworks laws divide fireworks into two categories: "dangerous fireworks" and "safe and sane" fireworks. "Dangerous" fireworks are always illegal unless you hold a special display license.

Can you go to the beach at night in Long Beach? ›

Beach never closes. It is open all year around. Only between Memorial and Labor Day weekends are passes on the beach required.

Can you bring your own bonfire pit to the beach? ›

This is California beach rules :Fires are permitted in appropriate pits only. No fires are allowed in the sand. Gas, propane or electric grills allowed on the sand but must be 18” off the ground. Charcoal can only be used in a concrete fire ring or on grills placed in a concrete fire ring.

What beach can you have a bonfire at in California? ›

Places that still have bonfire pits include Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Doheny Beach, a few areas of San Diego, perhaps, and Oceano Dunes State Beach.

Can you use sparklers on the beach in California? ›

Specifically Permitted

Per APA Std. 87-1, the following items are permitted: ground & hand-held sparkling devices, cylindrical & cone fountains, wheel & ground spinners, illuminating torch, flitter sparklers (morning glory) not exceeding 10” in length or ¼” in diameter, toy smoke device, party poppers and snappers.

Is it illegal to set fireworks off after a certain time? ›

When can you let off fireworks. For the majority of the year, it is illegal to set off fireworks (including sparklers) between 11pm and 7am.

Is it legal to set off fireworks on private property? ›

Can you set off fireworks in London? The simple answer is yes.

What is the hardest color for fireworks? ›

The color blue has been the Holy Grail for pyrotechnics experts since fireworks were invented more than a millennium ago. It's by far the hardest color to produce.

Do veterans dislike fireworks? ›

Combat Veterans and those who worked in combat zones can pair threat with whatever was in that environment, including things they saw, heard or smelled. These pairings can continue after returning to civilian life. So, when fireworks or other loud noises occur, a Veteran's brain can feel in danger.

Are fireworks illegal in Mexico? ›

Even fireworks are illegal in most areas of Mexico--despite most American's belief that they are legal. Just as in the U.S., ignorance of the law is NOT a defense.

What is the largest firecracker you can buy in the US? ›

Multi-Shots 500 Gram

These are the largest and loudest items that you can buy.

Are fireworks allowed on the beach in California? ›

Discharge of Safe and Sane Fireworks is only allowed on July 4 from Noon - 10 p.m. Fireworks MAY NOT be discharged: On any beach, wetlands, or public parks.

Does Long Beach have a curfew? ›

The Long Beach Safer-at-Home Order prohibits non-essential activities between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., including gatherings with other households, eating at restaurants, non-essential retail and other activities.

Are fireworks allowed in Airway Heights? ›

In Airway Heights, lighting off fireworks is permitted only on private property between the hours of 8 p.m. and midnight on the Fourth of July. Lighting off fireworks in public parks, roadways, sidewalks or other public property is not permitted.

What happens if you get caught with fireworks in California? ›

Possessing or Using Dangerous Fireworks

Although a year in jail is unlikely for just possessing or setting off some illegal fireworks, a person convicted of this misdemeanor offense can face up to one year behind bars, a fine of $500 to $1,000, or both. A second violation increases the fine to a minimum of $1,000.

Can you bring your own fire pit to the beach? ›

This is California beach rules :Fires are permitted in appropriate pits only. No fires are allowed in the sand. Gas, propane or electric grills allowed on the sand but must be 18” off the ground. Charcoal can only be used in a concrete fire ring or on grills placed in a concrete fire ring.

How many cats can you own in Long Beach? ›

A total of not more than four weaned household pets may be kept at one site, unless any of the weaned pets are dogs bred pursuant to a permit issued under Section 6.16.

Why are there no waves in Long Beach? ›

The reason for this is that a breakwater was installed between 1941 and 1949 when the Navy moved into the port of Long Beach and used the breakwater for military purposes.

Who has the least strict firework laws? ›

Three states — Hawaii, Nevada, and Wyoming — allow each county to establish its own regulations. For example, in Nevada, Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, allows residents to purchase and use only non-explosive and non-aerial consumer (safe and sane) fireworks during the 4th of July.

Can you shoot fireworks off a balcony? ›

Nope, not even if it's a wide open space with seemingly no one around. Members of the public can't set off fireworks on any kind of public land, including parks and streets. (The rule applies to sparklers too.)

Can planes fly around fireworks? ›

it is unlikely that a firework would cause significant damage to a commercial jet airliner struck by a firework. Nevertheless, fireworks have the potential to distract and confuse aircrews if they encounter fireworks at low altitudes, specifically on approach to landing.

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