Williamsport Police Draft Potential Fireworks Ordinance

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Police in Williamsport have been receiving complaint calls about fireworks all summer long. Much like Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport is hoping to create a new ordinance that would set up some guidelines for fireworks fans.

Out of the rain and under an awning at the bus station in Williamsport, Kayla Bortz didn't seem to mind the passing summer shower.

"My boy was scared of the lightning bolt that shot across the sky,” said Kayla Bortz.

Bortz says she's been hearing a lot more noise in the sky this summer.

This is the first year people are legally allowed to set off consumer-grade aerial fireworks in Pennsylvania.

"My kids are OK (when it’s) once in a while, but the bigger ones are what scare them the most," said Bortz.

"Every night they go off. There are people that shoot them off 8 until 12 at night," said Doris Bennett.

According to police in Williamsport, the bureau has issued just one or two fireworks violations this summer. It's already illegal under state law to set off aerial fireworks within 150 feet of an occupied structure. Now, police in Williamsport are working to draft a proposal that would prevent people from shooting off aerial fireworks at certain times of the day and at certain times of the year.

In hopes of getting some feedback from the community, police in Williamsport posted a poll asking residents if they want an ordinance for the new consumer fireworks. So far, 61% say yes.

Some of the people Newswatch 16 spoke with don't think they should banned in the city.

"Around town, you never can tell if it's a gunshot or if it's a firework,” said Bortz.

"If it's the Fourth of July, yes, I agree they can fire the fireworks, but once it's over they need to stop," said Bennett.

"I don't think they ought to be restricted because basically, you're screwing up the fireworks business doing it that way,” said Stephen King.

The fireworks poll ends this weekend.

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