Mass. residents cross state lines for fireworks

It is illegal to have fireworks in Mass.

HINDSDALE, NH (WWLP) – Fourth of July is Friday and while many communities will be shooting off fireworks, you can bet many people will too.

They’re loud, colorful and also illegal here in Massachusetts. State law prohibits average residents from buying, selling or shooting off fireworks, but the 22News I-Team found people are doing it anyway.

We went to Phantom Fireworks in New Hampshire where the parking lot is filled with Massachusetts license places.

Rutland’s Jay Duncan was one of them. (“No concerns at all about crossing state lines with these?”) “Not really,” Duncan said.

It’s not just Massachusetts, Joe Cornwall lives in Rhode Island where it’s also illegal. “We’ve done it for four years now and wish everyone could enjoy 4th of July the way New Hampshire allows us to,” Cornwall said.

Store managers say each customer signs a release form that says they’ll use the fireworks properly, but really, once they leave the parking lot, it’s up to them to follow the law.

“It’s like buying cigarettes or anything like that. You are liable for whatever you do with the product afterwards. so it’s their problem after that, yes,” Bill Sutton, Phantom Fireworks.

If you are caught with fireworks in Massachusetts, you could be given a fine of between $10-$100 dollars or even arrested if you’re caught selling them.

Greenfield Police admit they’ll usually just confiscate them simply because they’re dangerous. “They’re usually really good residents in town, they just don’t understand the dangerousness of fireworks,” Lt. William Gordon said.

As people pack up their cars with fireworks this weekend, police ask you not set them off here; leave that to the experts.

The I-Team dug even deeper and checked with local police departments to see how many illegal firework calls they’ve been on and if any tickets have been issued.

SPRINGFIELD

June/July 2013 – 290 calls
June/July 2014 -  71 calls

GREENFIELD

June/July 2013 – 12 calls
June/July 2014 – 5 calls

**warnings were given and fireworks confiscated

WESTFIELD
June/July 2013 – 37
June/July 2014 – 0

**warnings were given and fireworks confiscated

CHICOPEE

June/July 2013 / 32 calls
June/July 2014 – 7

**warnings were given and fireworks confiscated

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