Fireworks ban leading to big New Year's Bang - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Fireworks ban leading to big New Year's Bang

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NORTHPORT - AL -

  Recently, the city of Northport in Tuscaloosa County adopted a ban on fireworks.  People upset about the ban say they plan to make this the loudest and rowdiest New Year's ever.

"Nobody's going to stop me from shooting fireworks though," said the girlfriend of Eric Sesma.  They were at the Ninja fireworks store early Friday perhaps purchasing fireworks for the last time in the city of Northport.

 On January 2nd, the day after New Years, a city ordinance banning the sale or use of fireworks goes into effect.  Sesma says, "Its not right, you can't stop somebody from having fun."

 Northport leaders first began thinking about prohibiting fireworks two summers ago.  "When it was so dry during the summer, the question came up about the use and safety and it got to be a constant monitoring issue. And it was just determined that we ban the sale and use generally."

  City Administrator , Scott Collins believes most people in the city support the ban.

  Northport already has an ordinance which allows fireworks to be used in certain areas of the city--at a safe distance away from homes.  But, after a number of calls to police last New Year's...officers discovered lots of people were not complying.  "Then when they [officers] would come through they would simply be able to address a noise complaint -- ask them to stop and once they leave it would happen again. Unless an officer actually sees someone violating fireworks in the distances ordinances the officer doesn't actually have the ability to force the code," explained Collins.

   John Lee has owned and ran 'Ninja' fireworks on Highway 82 for fifteen years.  He's disappointed even though he'll still be able to sell in the police jurisdictions and other parts of the county. "I'll say 60 percent of the population are going to shoot it -- yes they may have to arrange their lifestyles in where they shoot it."

   Northport leaders say although fireworks would still be legal in the police jurisdictions, if that becomes in the issue, they'll ban them there as well.

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