N.Y. (NEWS10) -With the 4th of July around the corner, New Yorkers are eager to see some fireworks. From professional firework shows to backyard parties, there is a big difference between what is allowed to light up the skies.
In some areas, such as Schenectady County, Lieutenant Ryan Macherone says the pyrotechnics are left only to those with experience. “In Schenectady here, there is no such thing as a legal firework. Not even sparklers, things like that. I know that they are legal elsewhere in the state, but here in Schenectady County, they are not.”
Twelve counties, including Albany, Bronx, Columbia, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Queens, Richmond, Schenectady, Suffolk and Westchester have bans on all fireworks. Elsewhere in the state, residents are allowed to use what are called sparkling devices. “These are things that are either small and on the ground or handheld and just emit sparkles. That’s all,” explained Managing Partner at Tully Rinckey Law, Peter Pullano.
Pullano says being caught with fireworks that are banned in your county can land you in legal trouble. “For a simple possession of the fireworks, similar to getting a traffic ticket. However, if the amount gets big and you get over $500 worth of fireworks that are illegal, you’re looking at a Class B misdemeanor.”
Over in Rensselaer County, sparkling devices are being sold on the side of the road. Devin Pfister with TNT Fireworks says he makes sure customers know where they can and can’t use fireworks.
“I make sure that the list of counties that they’re not allowed to be in is by the register. That way the customers are informed,” said Pfister.
Even with laws not in his favor, Pfister says customers are still finding the right places to blast off. “This year, we’ve actually doubled sales so far. With other counties banning fireworks in their areas, it’s better for us because they are all coming here and I’m making more money off of it. So it’s cool.”
The 4th of July celebration at the Empire State Plaza takes place on Tuesday. This year we’re helping bring the fireworks show to you. If you can’t make it to the Empire State Plaza, Join Lydia Kulbida and John Gray for a special broadcast of the 4th of July fireworks on Tuesday night starting at 9 p.m. on FOX 23.