Fireworks sellers have pledged financial support this year for the arrest and prosecution of those who use or sell illegal fireworks.
Dennis Revell, spokesman for TNT fireworks, said that many local police and fire departments have sustained budget cuts. And the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office has been forced to lay off prosecutors.
In light of the cutbacks, nonprofits that sell the state-approved fireworks are increasing their support to fund patrols to cite or arrest those using or selling illegal fireworks and also underwrite their prosecution. An exact amount of funding was not available.
“Our position is that we will fund whatever it takes to prosecute those individuals who are cited or arrested for possession or use of illegal fireworks,” said Revell.
Violators found to be in possession of illegal fireworks such as bottle rockets will be offered an opportunity to plead guilty for three years of probation and five days in county jail, according to a news release from the Greater Sacramento Area Safety Task Force. Those caught using illegal fireworks could be required to serve a minimum of 10 days in jail.
“These offers may be increased if the defendant is found to have a prior criminal record,” said Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Ann Marie Schubert.
Also, if the facts warrant child endangerment charges, the violator may be required to serve a minimum of 30 days in county jail, she said.
“If any illegal fireworks are prosecuted as felonies because of the amount, type or way in which the illegal fireworks or explosives were used, state prison commitments may be pursued,” said Schubert in a news release.
Sacramento City Fire Chief Ray Jones said that the safety task force will be deploying an unprecedented number of teams of police, fire and sheriff’s deputies to write tickets or arrest individuals.
Parents may be held liable for any fire damage or injury caused by their children using illegal fireworks.
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