Fireworks Banned Within Sapulpa City Limits Starting This Year
SAPULPA, Oklahoma - The Fourth of July is just one week away, and many people are stocking up on fireworks.
But every city has different rules. In some cities, fireworks are okay and in others, they're illegal. Some cities require you buy a permit before lighting fireworks.
That was the case in Sapulpa for years, but this year it's different. Now, shooting fireworks could leave you with a big fine.
Thursday, Boomtown Fireworks, in Sapulpa, was putting the finishing touches on its tent to kick off the Fourth of July season.
"All the big stuff. They want the stuff that goes, 'Boom!' If it's loud, they want it," said J.T. Barber.
But whether it's loud or quiet, fireworks are illegal inside Sapulpa city limits.
"We did away with the fireworks permits," said Sapulpa Fire Chief Dannie Whitehouse.
The city approved the ban last year.
Whitehouse said the change will help keep neighborhoods safer. He said the decision was easy after meeting an elderly woman, whose house was hit last year.
"She was afraid at night. She brought a sack of fireworks that she'd got off her roof," Whitehouse said. "We sure wouldn't want anybody to lose their home or to be injured because of it."
In 2012, 158 permits were sold in Sapulpa at $20 each. Each permit required approval, so a firefighter had to go inspect the property before one could be issued.
Whitehouse said the city wasn't making what it cost in manpower and fuel, plus the ban will make it easier for police to know who's breaking the law.
"The Fourth of July, police officers spend all their time taking complaints and checking to see if the person has a permit or not," he said. "Now, you say, 'Well, they're gonna do that anyway.' Yes, but now nobody has a permit."
It's still perfectly legal to shoot off fireworks outside city limits, which is why J.T. Barber, at Boomtown, isn't worried about his business.
"People are still gonna celebrate the Fourth of July. Fireworks is what it's all about, so I think they're still gonna go out and shoot them off," Barber said.
Fireworks are also illegal in Tulsa and Owasso. With the purchase of a permit, they're allowed in Broken Arrow, Jenks, Sand Springs and Claremore.
If you're caught firing any illegally, you could face fines between $200 and $500, depending on the city.