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Explosive and aerial fireworks are illegal in Minnesota

The Fourth of July holiday comes every year. So does the problem with illegal fireworks, according to Hastings Police Chief Mike McMenomy.

"It is a yearly problem," McMenomy said. "It is an inconvenience for our officers to have to respond to the calls."

This year's complaints about fireworks began several weeks ago, according to the chief.

"We've had quite a few calls already," he said.

There are some fireworks that are legal to sell, possess or use in the state of Minnesota. Examples of legal fireworks include such items as sparklers, cones and tubes that emit sparks, and novelty items like snakes and party poppers.

According to Minnesota law, these fireworks may not be used on public property (parks, roads, alleys, schools, or government property). Purchasers of consumer fireworks must be at least 18 years old, and retailers are required to check photo identification of purchasers before selling these products.

Explosive and aerial fireworks are prohibited for public sale, possession and use. Prohibited fireworks include firecrackers, bottle rockets, missiles, roman candles, mortars and shells.

Responding officers in Hastings will confiscate the illegal fireworks, and the people having them are subject to citations (misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors). They will be scheduled for a court appearance in Dakota County District Court.

If convicted, the person faces a fine.

Fireworks operators such as those who handle the displays for the annual Fourth of July celebration and Rivertown Days festival must successfully complete a permit process with the city of Hastings. They must also be certified by the State of Minnesota.