• It is illegal to shoot off fireworks inside the city limits.
• Offenders could be given warning or prosecuted.
• A fireworks display will be shot off at Kemper Park.

With the Fourth of July celebration only days away, some may be thinking about fireworks. While many may embark on shooting off their own display, the Boonville City Police Department warns against any use of fireworks within the city.

“It is illegal to shoot fireworks inside the city limits. Our officers will be on patrol looking for violations and answering any calls concerning the shooting of fireworks,” Boonville Police Chief Bobby Welliver stated. “The officer at his/her discretion can give a verbal warning to the person(s) or issue a municipal summons for the person(s) to appear in court. Fines for municipal violations will be not more than $500 or confinement for up to 90 days or both fine and incarceration as determined by the Judge.”

Ordinances pertaining to the illegal shooting off of fireworks in the city include Sec. 14-7.

“(a) No person shall sell or expose for sale any fireworks, firecrackers, torpedoes, bombs, rockets, pinwheels, fire balloons, Roman candles, toy cannons, sparklers, or caps within the city, except that any person holding a wholesale license to do business within the city may sell fireworks in wholesale lots for use or sale outside the city, or for use within the city limits by competent persons under a permit approved by the city council. (b) No person shall discharge rockets, giant torpedoes, cannon crackers, firecrackers, fireworks and other dangerous combustible materials within the city limits,” according to Code 1958, and 49.09.

The police may have a right to be concerned, especially for safety inside the city limits.

According to the National Fire Protection Association fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. “These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage,” the association stated on its website. “In 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 51 percent of those injuries were to the extremities and 41 percent were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for one-quarter (26 percent) of the estimated 2015 injuries.”

This information should not deter area resident from enjoying the birthday of our nation, since there are other means to enjoy the national holiday.

The City of Boonville and the Boonville Area Chamber of Commerce (along with other partners), will be shooting off the annual display at Kemper Park. This professional display is free and safe for the citizens of the community. Food and drink will be offered for sale at the park for people waiting to see the colorful display.

But, for those outside of the city limits, the freedom to shoot off any display imaginable within the law will be allowed. While firework tents have sprouted up across the area, an endless supply will be available.