Illegal fireworks carry fines of up to $900 in Colorado, but temptation persists for many

Posted at 10:19 AM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 12:20:19-04

CHEYENNE, Wyo.-- It's just 90 miles to Wyoming from Denver and the time of year people make that drive to buy illegal fireworks. 

A few firework stores are just over the state line. The majority of the people who shop at the stores are from Colorado. 

"Eighty percent from Colorado," said store assistant manager Nathan Kelley. 

People are coming to Phantom Fireworks and are getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July. 

"Oh yes, July 4th, we live for the 4th," said Kelley.

No matter what the state law says, folks are coming to see Kelley. People are buying fireworks from him by the cart loads. Big ones and small ones sit on the shelves. But, not all the fireworks in here are banned in the state. 

"We do have an area sectioned off, just for Colorado that fits its guidelines," said Kelley. 

So what is considered illegal?

"The big stuff that shoots off the ground or explodes is not legal," said Lt. Bill Maton with the West Metro Fire Protection District. 

A pile of banned fireworks sits ready to be destroyed by the fire department. Some of the fireworks are from last year, and this year, already, police are starting to get complains from neighbors. 

If caught, the fines can range from $700 dollars to $900 dollars and/or prison time. 

A man who didn't want to be identified had a cart filled with fireworks. Some were illegal. They all went into a bag ready to go back with him to Colorado. He told Denver7 he hasn't had any problems in the past. 

"The police come by, but they usually say, just keep it safe," he said. 

Each county and city has different restrictions when it comes to lighting fireworks.

Check with your law enforcement agency about those restriction before lighting off any fireworks.