Champaign police issue warning on fireworks

Champaign police issue warning on fireworks

CHAMPAIGN — In the wake of multiple shootings in Champaign during June, the Champaign police department wants to remind the public that fireworks that sound like gunfire are not only a bad idea, they are illegal.

"Celebratory gunfire remains a problem in many cities, particularly during the July 4th holiday season, and sadly, it can often have tragic results when innocent people are hit by the bullets and injured or killed. The reality is that any bullet discharged from a gun, even into the sky, must land at some location, and the risks are significant for injury or death," a release from the police department said.

Police anticipate that calls about possible shootings will increase in the next week when people may actually be hearing fireworks.

Police plan to increase patrols in areas of the city that have the highest amount of gunshot and fireworks activity according to their records.

Anyone caught firing a gun or fireworks will be arrested or cited.

Champaign Fire Department Fire Marshal John Koller explained what fireworks are illegal.

"If you have to light the wick of a firework and it either explodes or shoots in the air, it is illegal to use in Champaign County," he said. "Leave the fireworks to certified professionals or go to the Champaign County Freedom Celebration."

Anyone aware of people firing guns as a means of celebrating is asked to call 911 or Crimestoppers at 217-373-8477.

Effective July 1, the fine for using illegal fireworks in Champaign will be $185.

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787 wrote on June 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm

There shouldn't be random gunfire, that could be confused with fireworks.

Is Chief Cobb back in Champaign yet?

mcdigsk2 wrote on June 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm

America isn't really free when you think about it.  Many of us say that we live in the home of freedom, but really, compared to other places like England we are relatively restricted, the above story content being just one of many examples.  We as Americans, however, uniquely have the freedom to accumulate large debt through massive Health Care and Student loan bills for everyone unlike other countries.  Why are we so content about this? 

Dthrills217cucopsabusepower wrote on June 28, 2013 at 11:06 am

darn right ...... they  limit us  like lab rats 

Nice Davis wrote on June 30, 2013 at 10:06 am

Yeah! If only we lived in glorious free Britain where there are no restrictions on a man's right to set off as many recreational explosives as he wants! This country becomes more Stalinist every year.

What's that? There are fireworks laws in Britain too? I guess the flame of freedom has been extinguished all over the world :(

Dthrills217cucopsabusepower wrote on June 28, 2013 at 11:06 am

so poppers sound like guns ? going to arrest us  shady urbana and champaign cops ?  its a joke people ..... the devil is real and he is  controlling us through these  officials who abuse power  not for good ...........    cops suck when they do this .....  idiots who shoot will still shoot .....  glad im breaking the law for fireworks ......  cops going to be running around town chasing sounds . dummies . haha  we want freedom shame on illinois 

Marti Wilkinson wrote on July 01, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I was talking to someone who heard the shots fired in Garden Hills recently, and he thought it was someone setting off firecrackers. In this part of town people start setting off their fireworks the weekend before, and it continues until the weekend after the 4th. I'm not sure that increasing the number of officers will really serve as a deterrent. However, I am glad that the freedom celebration moved the fireworks back to the U of I this year.

rufoustfirefly wrote on July 04, 2013 at 9:07 am

Thank you, Champaign police. 

This warning is not about the legal poppers. It's about those illegal booming fireworks that really do sound like guns.  The fireworks pack that big boom because they have enough explosive material to do real harm to anyone too close to them.  They literally do disturb the peace.

Last year we had a deficit of rain at this time.  I held my breath all night because so many fireworks were going off in my neighborhood and local park that grass fires or, worse, roof fires, were a real possiblity.  We were lucky, IMHO.

Those of you defending your right to set off any and all fireworks, please go talk to emergency room staff who treat the victims of fireworks.  Fireworks are not manufactured to any safety standard.  In fact, the manufacture of fireworks is highly dangerous to its workers.  Consider that as you light that string of illegal firecrackers.

Myself, I will be close to home for the next few days as all these illegal fireworks terrify two of my dogs.  Vets and shelter workers will have new stories for the next few days about terrified dogs who run away and get injured. 

Meanwhile, think before you buy or light fireworks, please.



Nice Davis wrote on July 04, 2013 at 10:07 am

I sure would love to meet the freedom-loving patriot who set off a dozen fireworks in my neighborhood at 4:00 AM last night.