Livermore to hold property owners, party hosts liable for illegal fireworks

Police say officers can use their own observations, witness statements or other information to issue a citation of up to $500.

Lauren Martinez Image
Monday, June 5, 2023
Livermore to hold property owners liable for illegal fireworks
Livermore will now hold the property owner or hosts of gatherings where fireworks are discharged, responsible for their guests' actions.

LIVERMORE, Calif. (KGO) -- Ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, a new fireworks ordinance will be in effect in Livermore.

All fireworks in Livermore are already illegal.

Azenith Smith, spokesperson for the Livermore Police Department, said realistically they can't eliminate all fireworks, but this new ordinance will be an extra enforcement tool.

"How the law was written before, it was really hard for officers to enforce because they actually had to see someone setting off a firework in their presence," Smith said.

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Now, the City Council approved amendments to the law - aiming to hold hosts of social gatherings responsible when the person who sets off a firework cannot be identified.

"They can cite a person who is hosting a party or a gathering where fireworks are being discharged or the property owner- they don't have to actually see the person lighting the firework," Smith said.

Smith said officers can use their own observations, witness statements or other information to issue a citation of up to $500.

Fernando Medina has lived in Livermore his whole life - every year he hears fireworks going off on the Fourth of July or days leading up to it.

"You always have people that have fireworks so middle of the night fireworks or bottle rockets just pop off," Medina said.

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ABC7 spoke to residents in downtown Livermore who say they support cracking down on fireworks - but citing the property owner or host isn't right.

"No, because I don't think you have control over everybody at your house especially if you have a big party - especially right on Fourth of July," Medina said.

Residents are encouraged to attend the city's professional fireworks show instead.

This new ordinance will got into effect starting June 22 with no expiration date.

"We don't want to have to issue any citations but we hope this will deter people and make them think twice before setting off a firework, Smith said.

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