It's that time of year again - time to enjoy the fireworks displays for Independence Day. But there's a word of warning to people in Massachusetts who may be thinking of doing their own private fireworks show: You could face fines or even jail time if you're caught.
"It is illegal to possess and transfer fireworks in your vehicle in the state of Massachusetts," said state police Trooper Thiago Miranda.
State police along with MassDOT and the state fire marshal's office are warning Massachusetts residents to leave the fireworks in the hands of the professionals.
"It is hard to enforce and what I've encountered is that people are actually shocked sometimes when they're stopped and they're found to be in possession of fireworks, so it's hard and you don't want to ruin anyone's Fourth of July," Miranda said.
YouTube videos show Massachusetts residents firing them off on Cape Cod beaches and in backyards.
Capt. Andrew Fraser with the Longmeadow Fire Department has seen the damage fireworks like those can cause.
"We generally deal with the aftermath - the injuries and the fires ... people using fireworks and causing burns to themselves and possibly blowing a finger off ... and they set fires in the woods, we've also had a house set on fire because of one of those rockets," he said.
Just down the road from the Longmeadow Fire Department there is a fireworks store in Enfield, CT, and on Interstate 91 there are signs advertising out-of-state fireworks stores.
"It makes it hard because all the states around us are legal so a lot of people think they can go to the other states and buy them and then travel through Massachusetts," Thiago said.
If you are caught transporting fireworks or using them, fines range from $10 to $100. If you are caught selling them, you could face $1,000 fine or even prison time.
Either way, your fireworks will be confiscated by police and destroyed by the state fire marshal's office.
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