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Rancho Cordova weighing potential crackdown on illegal fireworks

City Council will discuss a potential ordinance that could see property owners or hosts fined for illegal firework use.

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. — Rancho Cordova City Council will be discussing a potential ordinance that could see host liability for illegal fireworks.

According to a staff report from the city, the hard part about illegal firework enforcement is figuring out who used or possessed the firework as opposed to figuring out where it came from. Social host liability would make things simpler by letting an officer focus on "a particular person (or multiple persons) responsible for the property or event."

Social host liability isn't entirely new to Rancho Cordova. The City already uses social host liability in their Municipal Code; this part of the code makes it illegal for social hosts to allow gatherings where minors can drink alcohol. 

With the summer months and 4th of July ahead, the city said that there's been an increase in illegal fireworks during the summer and Independence Day. Officials said many of the fires during this period are also caused by illegal fireworks that get shot into the air.

"Illegal fireworks threaten neighboring properties, increase 911 response times for all emergencies, and create an increased risk of fire-related property damage and personal injury," the staff report said.

Enforcement would depend on city council's direction. It could be an infraction with escalating fines up to $500 or a misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $1,000 or imprisonment not to exceed six months, according to the staff report.

If the council chooses to move toward a potential ordinance with host liability, staff could return at a later council meeting with one.

The Rancho Cordova City Council meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on June 7. More information on the council meeting is available HERE and the full staff packet for the discussion item is available HERE.

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