"Illegal" Fireworks Ad in Omaha Raises Concerns

"Illegal" Fireworks Ad in Omaha Raises Concerns

By Jake Wasikowski. CREATED Jun 20, 2013

People can start buying 4th of July fireworks on Tuesday June 25th, and some out-of-state stores are trying to lure you in to bring illegal stuff back to Nebraska.

Tents are popping up all over town, and will be full of people next week.  A billboard along Interstate 80 tells people to go to Rock Port, Missouri to get their supply, a supply “not available in Nebraska”.  In Missouri it is legal to sell bottle rockets, but it’s illegal in Nebraska.

"It is a concern anytime you have something promoting something that's actually illegal in the city,” said OPD Officer Michael Pecha. “The law it definitely takes safety into consideration."

Wild Willy’s Fireworks in Springfield not only has one of the only indoor facilities in the state, but they put up around 30 tents in Omaha, Papillion, and La Vista.  They make sure to have the proper permits.  Owner Dan Williams says they’re busy getting ready for June 25th, the first day for sales.  Williams says recently, Nebraska standards changed so buying out of state isn't so appealing.  It's also illegal to bring fireworks across state lines into Nebraska.

"Three years ago the State Fire Marshal let us start selling anything that was approved federally with the exception of a few items, bottle rockets, and certain types of sparklers.  So basically anything Rock Port sells we can now sell in the state of Nebraska,” Williams explained.  "So there's no need to take the risk.  Everything that Missouri has we have here."

Omaha police wanted to emphasize that it is illegal to shoot any fireworks in city parks, and you're not supposed to fire them off in the streets.  They say call them if you see anyone lighting illegal fireworks.  In Omaha, you can shoot off fireworks from June 25th – July 4th from 8am-11pm.  Check your local ordinance if you live in a different city.