LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — City Attorney Mike Feuer said on Thursday that his office is working to find any sales of illegal fireworks in the L.A. area.
“If you or your family are feeling under siege by illegal fireworks right now, you’re not alone,” Feuer said. “It seems like they’re exploding in every neighborhood of our city. I hear them every night. Nobody knows why this year of all years this phenomenon is occurring, not just across the city of Los Angeles but across the nation.”
His office is scouring the internet for any sales, as all fireworks are illegal to sell or purchase in L.A., he said. Using or selling them could result in a citation from LAPD or a misdemeanor charge carrying a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six-month jail sentence.
Feuer also reminded Angelenos that fireworks can have negative effects on pets, military veterans, and other vulnerable populations.
“Every year, thousands and thousands of people are hospitalized because of illegal fireworks, and they’re losing fingers and arms and legs and their sight,” the city attorney said. “So it’s a very serious public health issue, and of course this year the coronavirus creates all kinds of new issues because emergency rooms are crowded with people suffering from COVID-19 and other illnesses.”
He said his office will be sending cease-and-desist orders to anyone selling fireworks in L.A.
“Veterans with post-traumatic stress (disorder) are very adversely affected by the random setting off of fireworks,” Feuer said. “In past years, people with PTSD could anticipate the Fourth of July, they could prepare for it.”
Children with special needs can also be affected by random explosions, he said.
Annette Ramirez, Los Angeles Animal Services’ field operations director, said fireworks can scare dogs to the point where they escape their house or yard.
“Even if your pet doesn’t seem like it’s upset by the fireworks, they can still be harmed,” Ramirez said, adding that ingesting fireworks can be fatal to them.
“If your pet is has to be outdoors, please try to keep your gates closed and check to make sure that they’re in proper working order,” she said.
She also reminded everyone to make sure to update their pet’s registration information, as more fireworks are likely to be set off as Independence Day nears.
To report illegal fireworks, people can go to complaint.lacity.org/complaints/fireworks or call LAPD at 1-877-275-5273.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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