Is the Rochester Police Department Looking for People Shooting off Illegal Fireworks
Curt St. John just wrote a story that explains which fireworks are legal in Minnesota. It's a short list. Sparklers, Cones that emit sparks, and snakes and party poppers are pretty much the only ones we can legally shoot off.
I hear and see more than just sparklers every 4th of July so I decided to reach out to the Rochester Police Department to see if they actually enforce this law.
I asked Captain John Sherwin if the RPD actively looks for people shooting off illegal fireworks. He said they don't: "The reality is that call load is greatest during the evening hours when people are actually lighting fireworks. With only a dozen or so squad cars on the street for the entire city, pro-active police work of any type is a luxury that seldom exists this time of year. It is difficult to keep up with the number of complaints let alone have any pro-active type of patrol looking for violators."
That's not a green light to head for Wisconsin to stock up on explosives. If you do get caught, you could face serious punishment.
days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. Violations involving a large amount of
fireworks (35 pounds gross container weight or more) can be punished as a gross
misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year in jail, a $3,000 fine, or both.