Fireworks can be discharged this Friday and police are asking parents to closely monitor their children throughout the weekend.
Two years ago there was a change to the city ordinance that had prohibited the discharging of fireworks. The law now states that fireworks can be discharged from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Union Police Chief Norman Brune said police will still be patrolling the city and responding to fireworks complaints this weekend despite the change in city ordinance allowing fireworks to be discharged July 4.
He also urged parents to keep a close eye on their children to ensure their safety, and that they are abiding by the city code.
“We ask parents to monitor the use of the fireworks, obviously not allow them before or after the Fourth, but also to monitor their safety,” Brune said.
There are some location restrictions, including within 300 feet of gas pumps or fireworks stands; and 600 feet from churches, hospitals or schools.
Each year police respond to complaints of fireworks being discharged, however many of those are on July 4.
Officers often respond to a call, but not actually find anyone discharging fireworks.
Brune told The Missourian that he does not anticipate officers will issue peace disturbance citations on July 4.
He explained that in order to issue those tickets, noise must be “unreasonable and unknowingly.”
Brune added that the noise will not be considered “unreasonable” July 4 because fireworks are allowed.
“For fireworks any other time, before or after July 4, we will be taking complaints,” he said.
However, Brune said, police will not ignore violations of the fireworks ordinance.
He has said that people are in violation of the ordinance if they are shooting at, or from a vehicle, or at people. He asked that residents exercise “common sense” while discharging fireworks July 4.
Officers will confiscate fireworks if they are discharged prior to July 4.
If fireworks are being discharged other than the allowed times, the fireworks will be confiscated. Violaters will be issued summonses to municipal court and there will likely be fines.