Columbia Residents Unaware of Firework Ban

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BOONE COUNTY - With the Fourth of July coming up, most people buy fireworks and look forward to setting them off. This year, things could change due to a new ban on fireworks possession in the city of Columbia.

Last October, the city council passed an ordinance banning the possession of fireworks within city limits. Columbia residents this week seemed largely unaware of the new ordinance.

Christopher David Bibby, a Columbia resident said, "I don't want to get pulled over for something that I really didn't know about until now and I feel like that's not really right."

Columbia Police said they are working to spread the news of the ban.

Sgt. Joe Bernhard said, "We're doing an education campaign...we're sending out a press release along with the fire department to educate the citizens on the new ordinance and also, safe ways to enjoy the Fourth of July professional fireworks displays instead of having your own in your own home."

A former Columbia city councilman said he thinks enforcing the ban is not realistic.

Gary Kespohl said, "It's unenforceable. How do you enforce it?" 

Other residents KOMU 8 News spoke with knew about the long-standing ordinance that bans the discharge of fireworks in the city, but did not know about the new ordinance banning possession.

Violators of the ordinance could face a fine of up to $500 or three months in jail.