Illegal Fireworks Cracked Down on By L.A. City Council

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Citing a growing number of reports of illegal fireworks being set off around the Fourth of July and other holidays, the Los Angeles City Council approved some strategies today aimed at cracking down on the use of pyrotechnics. 

On an 11-0 vote, the council directed the police and fire departments to implement a number of new strategies, including making public outreach efforts bringing attention to the dangers of using illegal fireworks, and instructing the fire department to report on what steps are necessary to enable mobile reporting of violators through the 311 app or phone service. 

The council also adopted a resolution supporting any state legislative action for the state fire marshal to receive regular funding for the destruction of confiscated fireworks, as a staff report noted there is a backlog of pyrotechnics awaiting destruction. The motion also instructs the police and fire departments to identify and apply for any grant funding opportunities that can be used for illegal fireworks enforcement and education in the city; directs the departments to report on the feasibility of developing incentivization programs, such as monetary rewards, to encourage people to surrender their illegal firearms of report use, sale or ownership of illegal fireworks; and to report on developing a program with the Los Angeles Port Police and other related public safety enforcement bodies to ensure illegal fireworks are confiscated at the point of entry at the Port of Los Angeles.

Although fireworks are illegal in Los Angeles, every year in California they cause serious injuries and fires, and their use has become more widespread, according to the original motion that led to the council's action.

``In a region prone to wildfire, one errant bottle rocket in the hills surrounding the city could result in lives lost and houses destroyed,'' the motion says. Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who introduced the motion, said the problem of illegal fireworks appears to be growing.

``This is a really, really serious and growing problem and has been for a long time, but it seems to have reached a crescendo last Fourth of July and the months leading up to it,'' he said in February.

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