Illegal Fireworks Set to be a Problem in Oneida County This Summer

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Utica, N.Y.—The 4th of July firework celebration has been postponed again this year, but just like last year, that won’t stop local Oneida County residents from having their own firework display. Before you stop at one of the pop-up firework stands, there are a few things you might want to know.

“The people who are using the fireworks think that it’s any type of firework, that is not the case,” Robert Maciol, Sheriff, Oneida County explained.

From June 1st to July 5th it is legal in Oneida County to possess and sell fireworks, but only certain kinds of fireworks, the legal fireworks are handheld devices and sparklers and the illegal ones are the ones that explode or go up into the air.

“We get calls from not only citizens obviously but town supervisors and village mayors looking for our help because they get a lot of the calls from people,” Maciol said. “And believe it or not as early as it is it’s only early June, the calls are already starting to come in.”

The sheriff’s office saw an influx of complaints come in last year and Sheriff Maciol expects this year to be even busier and louder than last year

“Probably going to be busier,” Maciol explained. “We already see that trend whether we are talking about what we are seeing out on the water, some of what we’re hearing, some of the parties legitimate legal parties that are being planned. I think people have been cooped up for quite some time and they are ready to get out to have a good time.”

While Maciol is concerned about the quality of life in neighborhoods he also stresses the importance of safety when handling fireworks.

“You look at the statistics of fireworks injuries there’s many of them,” Maciol said. “There’s many of them that actually have dismembered people, people have lost, whether it be a hand or an arm or their vision.”

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