Officials urge residents to be mindful of fireworks laws

Kimberly Jordan • Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 10:08 PM

Fireworks are a popular addition to Fourth of July celebrations, but revelers need to keep in mind the regulations governing their use.

Mt. Juliet, Lebanon and Watertown each have laws in place as to when fireworks can be bought and used within each city. Time periods range from one to two weeks of permissable use.

In Lebanon and Mt. Juliet, residents can buy fireworks between June 20 and July 5, and it is illegal in both cities to shoot fireworks from 10 p.m. until 10 a.m.

According to a press release from the Mt. Juliet Police Department, failure to comply with these rules in the city could result in a fine.

"The biggest complaint we get is people trying to sleep and their neighbors are shooting fireworks at 2 in the morning," said Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen.

In an earlier interview, Mt. Juliet City Manager Kenny Martin said the city hasn't had a lot of problems with the use of fireworks.

Watertown Mayor Mike Jennings said fireworks are legal to shoot between July 1-7 and also the week between Christmas and New Year's.

Stands cannot sell any fireworks to anyone under 18.

This is the first year fireworks are legal in Lebanon for a number of years. Bowen said the sale and use of fireworks was banned about eight years ago due to an incident where they were aimed at officers.

"Three officers were injured in an incident where fireworks were being shot at them," he said. "Our greatest fear is the safety of our officers."

Bowen said there are restrictions to who is allowed to sell fireworks, and he believes that will aid in keeping situations like that from happening again.

Regardless of where citizens call home, officials urge them to make safety a priority as they celebrate Independence Day.

"[Fireworks] need to be used safely to avoid serious burns, eye damage and even death. When using fireworks, safety should be everyone’s priority," said Mt. Juliet police spokesman Tyler Chandler.

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