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City of Sacramento Passes Enhanced Fireworks Ordinance

Deafening Booms Throughout the City

Even though it is still a few weeks before the 4th of July, residents of many neighborhoods throughout Sacramento are already hearing the deafening booms of illegal fireworks going off at all hours of the night. Given the fact that five out of six of the largest wildfires in our state’s history blazed in 2020, local governments and fire departments around Northern California are urging people to stop using unregulated fireworks.  A new fireworks ordinance was recently passed, which is intended to facilitate the enforcement of laws relating to illegal fireworks. 

Sacramento Leaders Take Action

Within the past couple of weeks, the Sacramento City Council obtained unanimous approval of an ordinance that strengthened the power of local law enforcement to enforce laws against the use of illegal fireworks within the city limits. This ordinance is set to go into effect prior to the Fourth, on June 24, 2021.

Details of the New Fireworks Ordinance

There are two main parts of the new ordinance. One will hold property owners and/or renters accountable for any illegal firework activity that occurs on their property. The way this section will work is that an official from one of several city agencies will patrol neighborhoods and if aerial fireworks are witnessed leaving a property’s grounds, a citation can be issued by mail to the property. The ordinance was able to pass after language was removed that would have held a property owner responsible for anyone using illegal fireworks on their property. Despite the narrowing of the social host liability, Sacramento’s Fire Marshal feels that will not affect the ability to enforce the ordinance, as citations will be issued with evidence and proper documentation, such as a video or photographs, to ensure that the proper person is issued the citation.  

Prior to the passage of the new ordinance, officers would have to respond to a call, personally witness the firework activity, and arrest the person responsible. This method created concerns for both the officer and public safety. The new ordinance eliminates the need to make an arrest. 

The second key component of the ordinance prohibits the use of any fireworks, even those of the “safe and sane” variety, between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. The previous law allowed Sacramento residents to deploy legal fireworks without any time restrictions from June 28th to July 4th.

Watch the YouTube video. CBS13 posted the news clip below, reporting on the new ordinance.

What Happens to Fireworks Violators?

Repeat violators could rack up significant fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 and up. Property owners who receive a citation will have the opportunity to appeal.

Enforcement of the New Fireworks Ordinance

The budget proposed for the illegal fireworks task force will be around $100,000, unchanged from the years 2018 and 2019.  It will include staffing as well as advertisements and outreach to get the message out about illegal fireworks and the new ordinance. This will not require hiring any new staff but is expected to include overtime pay. 

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

Hello – thanks for reading our discussion of the new Sacramento fireworks ordinance. I’m Ed Smith, and I have been a personal injury attorney in Sacramento, California, for more than 38 years. Every day throughout our region, people suffer injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. If you or a family member has been hurt by the careless or reckless actions of another party (either a person or business) we suggest you seek experienced legal counsel. You are welcome to call one of our compassionate injury lawyers for free and friendly advice at (916) 921-6400. From outside the Sacramento area, please use our toll-free line: (800) 404-5400. If you prefer, you may send your inquiry electronically via our contact form.

Photo: https://pixabay.com/photos/fireworks-sparkle-sky-glow-explode-865104/

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