Police Won’t Be Stalking Mass. Borders to Catch Firework Buyers

FILE - In this July 4, 2012 file photo, law enforcement officials carry boxes of unexploded fireworks out of a house in Pelham, N.H., where a fireworks explosion on the rear deck the previous night injured 13 people. The sale of some fireworks is legal in New Hampshire, though some municipalities have chosen to ban them. Sixty four large fireworks displays were scheduled from Wednesday through Sunday over the July 4, 2014 holiday weekend. (AP Photo/The Eagle-Tribune, Mary Schwalm, File)
Mass. police will be on the trail of illegal fireworks, but not lined up at border towns.
Mary Schwalm/AP

Possessing fireworks in Massachusetts remains illegal, but that hasn’t stopped people from making the annual trek to New Hampshire to buy fireworks and bring them back into The Bay State. While some news stories have warned of police camping out on state borders to catch firework-movers, Massachusetts State Police don’t seem to be taking that aggressive tactic this year.

“I don’t know of any active effort” to monitor borders for firework purchases, State Police Lt. Dan Richard told Boston.com. “There’s no step-up effort, it just takes on more of a life this time of year.” Police will surely seize more fireworks this time of year than in the winter, but that’s more due to the proximity to July 4th than a border-patrolling police strategy.

Instead, police will rely on good old-fashioned traffic stops to spot illegally-transported fireworks and issue fines, which range from $10-$100 for possession. In Lowell, Mass., a town close to the New Hampshire border, a new ordinance has upped that fine to $300, The Boston Globe reports.

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And in case you plan to claim ignorance of fireworks’ legal status, MassDOT message boards on July 3-6 will send that message loud and clear.

Happy July 3rd, Bostonians.