Fireworks: legal to buy, illegal to shoot off in OH

CLEVELAND -- Three more days until the sky -- and our backyards -- light up with fireworks.

But how do you know what's legal to buy and where to shoot them off?

It's confusing to a lot of customers even though it's spelled out in the purchase agreement.

Harvey MCcary and his 7-year-old son, Nasir, are on their annual fireworks shopping spree.

"I love fireworks so much, I wish I could do this every day," said Nasir.

Phantom Fireworks in Canton is busier than ever mostly with customers from Ohio.

In order to buy fireworks here you have to show your driver's license and agree to transport them out state within 48 hours.

You also have to carry the purchase form in case an officer or fire authority asks for it.

"That paperwork is the evidence that you bought these fireworks and you will be taking them out of the state," said Deputy General Counsel Raechelle Speaker.

Novelty items like sparklers are legal and are clearly marked on the shelves.

But not everyone reads the agreement or looks for the signs to make sure they're shopping cart is filled with legal items.

"I'm not sure. I think so, but I'm not sure," said one customer.

Others simply don't care.

See fireworks complaints, arrests and citations in 80 local communities for 2010-2014.

"I'm gonna do what I'm gonna do. If it get caught, it get caught, if they sell them that's stupid," said a customer who didn't want to be identified.

Harvey knows the law well. Even though he's living in Ohio, he and Nasir are heading to Alabama for a family reunion.

"Have a good time for the 4th of July and try to light up the sky," said Harvey with a smile.

So what's the consequence of getting caught?

The first violation is a $1000 fine and up to 6 months in jail.


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