Fourth of July expected to draw out increase in illegal fireworks displays

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -- As the Fourth of July approaches, you can expect to hear more fireworks going off late at night.

While shooting off fireworks within city limits is not allowed, residents can go out into the county to let them loose instead.

Cheyenne police haven't received too many complaints about fireworks being set off illegally yet, but they expect the number of call-ins to rise as the holiday draws nearer.

"The calls are definitely going to increase -- as they do every year -- around the Fourth of July," says David Inman, the Cheyenne Police Department's public information officer. "So around that week of July fourth...there's always an increase in fireworks calls."

In the event that residents hear or see fireworks going off illegally, they can contact the department to report it, after which police will go out to investigate the complaint.

"If we get a call about fireworks -- a loud-noise fireworks complaint -- we'll go out, address it," says Inman. "If we see people lighting fireworks within city limits, an officer can use his discretion: he can say, for example, 'Hey, you guys are setting off fireworks within the city limits. You guys are not allowed to do that. They are illegal.' And the officer really could, if he wanted to, confiscate them."

While detonating fireworks is not allowed within Cheyenne, sparklers, smoke devices and novelty fireworks (i.e. poppers, snaps) are exempt from these rules.