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Police, neighbors in Richmond area deal with illegal firework concerns

Communities around the Richmond area have been inundated with illegal fireworks for weeks now.
Communities around the Richmond area have been inundated with illegal fireworks for weeks now.(NBC12)
Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 1:46 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 5, 2021 at 2:53 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Communities around the Richmond area have been inundated with illegal fireworks for weeks now.

“Certainly for our citizens, playing the game of ‘was that fireworks or gunshots’ is not a really fun game to play in the middle of the night,” said Stephanie Lynch, Richmond City Councilor.

Neighbors dealing with the issues did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation but did share some of their experiences off camera.

Those booms in the sky have increased over the past year in Richmond, according to city councilor Stephanie Lynch, stemming from a summer of protests. Lynch has several concerns, including the tug on already strained police resources.

“A lot of the time we’re finding - at least south of the river - is these individuals are mobile. So they’ll set something off in a park and leave, and so it’s kind of hard to identify who is setting them off,” said Lynch.

While wonderful in the right setting, there are a number of concerns with constant fireworks. There’s the disruption to family life including scared pets and sleeping babies. And remember veterans who suffer from PTSD can have a difficult time around the fourth holiday, even without the homegrown show.

“For folks like my husband, or kids that have lived through trauma, PTSD, I mean it really is in the night time when things are rattling off like that is really disturbing for folks that have experienced trauma of any sort, and particularly of gun violence,” said Lynch.

There are also safety issues including falling firework debris onto neighborhood homes with the potential to cause a roof fire. In Virginia, fireworks that leave the ground are illegal. All fireworks are banned in The City of Richmond.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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