SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today's Why Guy question comes to us from Robin Rogers via email, who asks, "Why on earth is Sacramento County allowing fireworks to be sold this year? I've always enjoyed fireworks but I think common sense should prevail under the circumstances"
Robin, we are in a drought and your concern is valid. The fireworks you see all over the place in the sky along the Sacramento horizon on a typical Fourth of July night are illegal. They are not sponsored shows.
Fireworks that are not “Safe and Sane” are already banned and law enforcement this year will be cracking down on the homeowners allowing it, instead of the people setting them off.
What remains legal are the family-friendly "Safe and Sane" fireworks, which are much lower risk and generally used in people’s driveways or on the street. The safe and sane fireworks live on for multiple reasons.
"Sacramento County continues to balance the needs of the community through much-needed funding generated for non-profit organizations from fireworks sales and the potential fire risk caused by the irresponsible use of fireworks," Sacramento County spokesperson Janna Haynes said.
So, if the county were to ban all fireworks, that would include the "Safe and Sane" ones, yet the illegal fireworks would continue as they always have with so many people doing it. It’s become its own thing.
You’ve heard the phrase, “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns?” That seems to be the feeling about fireworks on July Fourth. If you see or hear illegal fireworks in your neighborhood, you can call 311 to report them. Fire officials also say the best way to report illegal fireworks in California is through the NAIL 'EM app, which allows people to send exact locations and even take a picture or record audio of the violation.
"Know the risks, keep it safe, keep it legal and know how to report illegal sale and usage," Haynes said.