LA Mayor Eric Garcetti proposes $5K or more in fines for setting off illegal fireworks

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The mayor of Los Angeles wants to implement a very expensive fine against people who set off illegal fireworks.

"It's as much as $5,000 per firework so people could be looking at serious money and they could be looking at jail time if they have repeat offenses as well," Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

Every year police and firefighters discover and confiscate thousands of illegal fireworks in the city. The number of calls on the Fourth of July continues to grow.

In 2015, there were 5,948, which jumped to 8,103 in 2016 and then 8,204 in 2017.

Fire officials worry illegal fireworks can pose a serious danger for brush fires. The hillsides are dry after another year without much rain. Eyewitness News interviewed people, asking them what they think of tougher enforcement and not everyone is in favor of such a big fine.

"What does it fall into? Is it like a little firecracker or is it something big? Who's to say I throw a little thing on the ground and oh that's a $5,000 dollar fine?" Mike Breslauer said.

Another person said it may deter people.

"Throw a $5,000 fine and we're not going to want to celebrate. We're just going to watch other people do it," Austin McCracken said.
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