Enforce fireworks law

Editor, Gettysburg Times,

The Easton Express Times editorial, published in the Gettysburg Times, on July 30 claiming that “to issue a citation [the police] usually have to witness someone lighting a fuse” is false. As with nearly any crime, there are many ways to gather evidence to support a charge. Most obvious with fireworks violations is gather witnesses to the incident. Those who report fireworks violations most likely have observed the activity and can provide some testimonial evidence in court. Some of these witnesses may have even taken photos or videos of the violation(s) which can be used as evidence.

Additionally, the alleged violators can be interviewed by the police whereupon they may very well make full or partial admissions to the wrongful conduct.

Observations can be made of fireworks’ remnants to establish where devices were used. The property owners can then be questioned.

Granted, gathering evidence like this requires work. It’s called a police investigation. There’s no good reason why it shouldn’t be employed for fireworks violations. Or does law enforcement simply not want to be bothered with this issue?

Citations and penalties need not be limited to a $100 fine as stated in the editorial. If other persons or property are harassed or endangered by the illegal use of fireworks then there are several other criminal offenses that can possibly be charged depending on the circumstances of each case. All of these would carry more severe penalties upon conviction.

Could it be that law enforcement’s claim that they can’t do anything unless they actually witness the activity is an excuse for not doing the legwork to enforce the law and catch violators? I understand it may seem easier to take rights away from citizens than have the police diligently perform their job of enforcing the law, but let’s at least be accurate about the issue. Stop “copping out” on the fireworks law and enforce the law just as any other law should be enforced.

Jay Kalasnik,

New Oxford

(1) comment

James Rife

Yeah, turning have so much into snitches is always a winning strategy for community harmony. And the police have plenty of have time, resources, and jail space that they can spend hours investigating a few minutes worth of fireworks. I'm just sure that the State Police and County Sheriff's Department would love doing this every July 4th, Labor Day, and New Years. Give me a break!

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