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Column: Celebrate Fourth of July responsibly

Q: What types of fireworks are legal to have or use in Minnesota?

A: Great question and with the Fourth of July coming up, very timely.

Minnesota Statute 624.21, states that the sale, possession and use of fireworks are prohibited (exception for engineers licensed by a governmental subdivision (city/county) for the purpose of display or acoustical testing).

Minnesota Statute 624.20 defines fireworks as (illegal in Minnesota): "any substance or combination of substances or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation, and includes blank cartridges, toy cannons, and toy canes in which explosives are used, the type of balloons which require fire underneath to propel them (sky/Chinese lanterns), firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, Roman candles, day go bombs, sparklers other than those specified below, or other fireworks of like construction, and any fireworks containing any explosive or inflammable compound, or any tablets or other device containing any explosive substance and commonly used as fireworks."

The term "fireworks" shall not include (following are legal in Minnesota) toy pistols, toy guns, in which paper caps containing 25/100 grains or less of explosive compound are used. The term also does not include wire or wood sparklers of not more than 100 grams of mixture per item, other sparkling items which are nonexplosive and non-aerial and contain 75 grams or less of chemical mixture per tube or a total of 500 grams or less for multiple tubes, snakes and glow worms, smoke devices, or trick noisemakers which include paper streamers, party poppers, string poppers, snappers, and drop pops, each consisting of not more than twenty-five hundredths grains of explosive mixture. The use of items listed in this paragraph is not permitted on public property. This paragraph does not authorize the purchase of items listed in it by persons younger than 18 years of age. The age of a purchaser of items listed in this paragraph must be verified by photographic identification.

Also, Minnesota Statute 609.68, Unlawful Deposit of Garbage, Litter, or Like, makes it a petty misdemeanor to leave debris from fireworks lying on the street, public ways or property. ($100/fine, plus $75/surcharge for a total of $175).

I would also like to ask your consideration of veterans and pets as you prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July. Every year the Police Department receives calls for service regarding veterans that suffer from PTSD and frightened pets that have ran away from home because someone decided that they could use fireworks in violation of Minnesota statutes.

Please be respectful of your neighbors!

Reference:

1. Minnesota Statute 624.21, Sale, Possession, and Use of Fireworks Prohibited. https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=624.21

2. Minnesota Statute 624.20, Fireworks. https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes?id=624.20&year=2016&keyword_type=all...

3. Minnesota Statute 609.68, Unlawful Deposit of Garbage, Litter, or Like.

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes?id=609.68&year=2016&keyword_type=all...

"Ask The Chief" allows readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs and the department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us.

Generally one answer a week is posted RWPD social media sites and printed in the Red Wing Republican Eagle.

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