Fireworks Fair Warning - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Fireworks Fair Warning

The Fourth of July is just a few days away and in an effort to clear up any confusion before Texoma residents head out to pop fireworks, law enforcement from Wichita County and the City of Wichita Falls gathered Wednesday afternoon to discuss ways residents can enjoy the holiday without breaking the law. 

"Over the past five years it is increasingly getting popular," said Wichita County Sheriff David Duke. 

Popping fireworks to celebrate the nation's Independence Day is a common tradition, but it's not allowed in Wichita Falls.

"If you're firing off fireworks within city limits we're probably going to show up. If we get you the officer has the discretion and probably is going to issue you a citation," said Wichita Falls Police Chief Manuel Borrego.

Chief Borrego said the biggest confusion residents have about fireworks deals with possession.

"It's illegal to possess fireworks inside of city limits. People get confused with that, because House Bill 1813 had come out that said that we will not confiscate unopened fireworks. It still doesn't means you cannot possess them within city limits," said Chief Borrego.

While residents may not be able to pop fireworks within city limits, they can drive outside city lines to Wichita County to shoot them, but must be on private property with the owner's permission. 

"Obviously, if its a family gathering and there is quite a few people there and the owners already there then we no they belong there," said Sheriff Duke.

Duke said in years past after attending the fireworks display at Sheppard Air Force Base, some residents would pull on the side of county roads and shoot fireworks. 

"It's illegal, you can't do that. Littering is illegal and we're going to enforce those laws pretty heavy," said Sheriff Duke.  

The Sheriff said it's also illegal and considered trespassing to shoot fireworks without permission on an oil field lease, parking lots outside of city limits, and county ditches or right of ways. 

Law enforcement said they're not trying to hinder any residents plans, but wants them to follow these laws and have a safe and enjoyable holiday. 

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6 
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