LPD cracking down on firework offenders

By: Melina Matthes

The Lincoln Police department is cracking down on firework offenders this holiday.  The Fourth of July is just days away.  But the Lincoln Police Department wants to remind everyone fireworks are still illegal to shoot off, until Wednesday.

It's the sound of independence and freedom…but for some it's too much, too soon. Lincoln Police say they have had dozens of calls come in from residents complaining about fireworks being shot off in their neighborhoods. Over the past week, officers have given 121 tickets for either possession or discharging of fireworks.

“I just don't understand why we're limited to shooting fireworks only two days, two days out of the year. I mean since when are there rules on freedom? We get this small window of only a few days to celebrate something that should be lasting all year long,”  Ben Harms of Lincoln said.

Outside the city limits, fireworks stands were allowed to open 10 days before the Fourth of July, allowing Lincoln residents to get their hands on them earlier than Lincoln police would like.

“They don't have to deal with crowds and we've been here 16 plus years, so ya know Roca's not far from Lincoln. Like I say, we see the same faces every year,” Gordon Tebow with Roca Crazy Cracker said.

Keep in mind in the city of Lincoln, you can only shoot off fireworks from 8am to 11pm on the 3rd and from 8am to midnight on the 4th. If you're caught shooting them off outside that time frame you could be ticketed.

“We're hoping that we get a lot of people, since they can only shoot on the 3rd and 4th. So we hope to get a lot of people to come out and buy all their fireworks those two days…most of the stands in the surrounding community sell for 10 days or so but the majority of the sales, I think they estimate about 75-80% occur on the 3rd and 4th,” James Hershberger said.

Lincoln police say if you see someone shooting off fireworks illegally, you have to give an exact address. They're not going to just go to a general area. That's new this year. If you're caught with or discharging fireworks within the city limits before the 3rd, you could face up to a 50 dollar fine.