News & Politics

Fireworks Amnesty Day: People Actually Participated (Sigh)

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As we noted last week, if you just walk into a police station and hand over your illegal fireworks during what NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and other local law-dogs dubbed “Fireworks Amnesty Day,” you’re a “f**king schmuck.”

That said, there apparently a few schmucks out there.

According to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement officials collected 1,735 explosives during this year’s annual free pass for fireworks possessors.

That’s not to say 1,735 people actually handed their illegal fireworks over to police, that’s the number of individual explosives collected (the Brooklyn D.A.’s Office didn’t immediately get back to us when asked how many people participated).

As we reported last week, on Saturday,  authorities held “Fireworks Amnesty Day” at the NYPD’s 62nd Precinct in Brooklyn. For anyone dumb enough to give away their explosives, law enforcement officials promised that “No questions
will be asked. No charges will be filed. No names or identification
required. All fireworks will be accepted.” 

As we explained last week, there is absolutely no reason to do this — fireworks are awesome, blowing shit up is fun, and simply possessing small amounts of explosives isn’t even a crime.

From our post last week:

According to New York State penal code, your run-of-the-mill (more on
what constitutes as “run-of-the-mill” below) fireworks possessor is
only guilty of a violation, which is essentially the same thing as a
parking ticket. In other words, you can blow off your fireworks, get
caught, pay a fine, promise to never do it again, blah, blah, blah. Then
you can take a road trip to Virginia and stock up on explosives for
next year.

Selling fireworks in
the Empire State is a bit more serious — you could potentially get hit
with a class-B misdemeanor if you get caught. If the fireworks you’re selling are worth
more than $500, the charges could be increased to a class-A misdemeanor.

Here’s
the kick in the balls: In New York, you can get charged with a
misdemeanor if you get busted with fireworks worth more than $50 because
(according to New York law) “possession of fireworks or dangerous
fireworks valued at fifty
dollars or more shall be a presumption that such fireworks were intended
to be offered or exposed for sale.”

Fifty dollars worth of fireworks isn’t a lot, so to presume
that anything over that amount is for “sale” is a horseshit way for the man to charge you with a misdemeanor.

If you were one of the smart ones who didn’t fall for law enforcement’s
ploy to get you to have no fun this Fourth of July, feel free to blow
off fireworks to your heart’s content — just don’t get caught with more
than $50 worth at any given time.

If you’re actually interested in learning more about the dangers of
fireworks, Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes will be offering a (taxpayer
funded) tutorial this afternoon to explain how explosives can
potentially lead to injuries. As much as we’d love to be there to offer a
stern “no shit — can you go convict criminals now?,” we will not be in
attendance.

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