SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento City Council unanimously approved a new ordinance strengthening local law enforcement’s power to crack down on illegal fireworks usage in the city.
The ordinance will go into effect on June 24, 2021, in time for the 2021 Fourth of July season.
One of the two main components of the new ordinance includes a section that holds property owners and/or renters responsible for any illegal fireworks activity on their property.
Sacramento City Fire Marshal Jason Lee explained this part of the ordinance in an interview in early May.
“We can have somebody from the fire department, an officer, or from city code enforcement, or police just do a patrol of the neighborhood. If they see firework activity leaving the ground at a property, we can then issue a citation via mail to the property,” Lee said.
The city council members debated the broadness of the social host liability and eventually agreed to move forward with the ordinance if it removed a part of Section 9, specifically part A1, that would have assumed a property owner responsible for someone else using illegal fireworks on their property.
“I don’t feel it will negatively affect our ability to enforce this ordinance. Those enforcing the ordinance will have to have proper documentation and evidence in order to issue citations,” Lee said after the council approved the ordinance.
“We can still issue the citation, but we will have to have additional layer evidence – a picture or video of the incident – so we can be sure the proper person is the one who is issued a citation,” he added.
The other main component of the ordinance would prohibit all fireworks use between the hours of 11 p.m. and 9 a.m. This included fireworks considered “safe and sane.”
Violators could see hefty fines ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 and up for repeat offenses, according to Lee. Any property owner who receives a citation will have the opportunity to appeal the citation – first at the staff level and then at an appeals hearing, Lee said.
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