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For Immediate Release                                                         

July 3, 2014

Media Contact
James Palisi
Fire Marshal, Redwood City

Redwood City Reinforces Ban on Fireworks and
Unlawful Firing of Guns into the Air

Redwood City, Calif. - The Redwood City Fire Department and Police Department are reminding the community of the City's absolute ban on fireworks, and that shooting a gun in the air in celebration is illegal and dangerous.

Fireworks are the cause of thousands of fires and injuries throughout the United States on the 4th of July, as well as during the days before and after this holiday. These fires and injuries are preventable when people comply with local laws prohibiting the use of fireworks. The City of Redwood City prohibits any type of fireworks, including the so-called "safe and sane" variety. The only permitted use of fireworks is for professional fireworks shows, such as the show hosted at the Port of Redwood City.

Celebrating the 4th of July by shooting a gun into the air is not only illegal; it can seriously injure or kill someone. The Redwood City Police Department uses a "Shot Spotter" gunshot locater system, which can be used to determine the location of a firearms discharge in the city. The reckless discharge of a firearm is a felony violation under section 246.3 of the Penal Code and is punishable by imprisonment in state prison. A gunshot telephone hotline is available at (650) 780-7639, which the public is urged to call in the event celebratory gunfire is heard, particularly during the 4th of July holiday.  The public is also encouraged to call 9-1-1 in the event of a firearms discharge emergency.
Redwood City Police and Fire staff will be making an extraordinary effort this year to be on the lookout for fireworks and gunshots throughout the 4th of July holiday period. Any person caught in possession of fireworks will have them confiscated and will be subject to a citation or arrest. Any person that causes a fire by using fireworks may also be liable for the cost of suppressing the fire. Fireworks obtained in other jurisdictions may not be brought into or used within Redwood City. The Police Department will investigate and track down any individuals shooting guns into the air. Arrests will be made when possible and violators will be booked at San Mateo County Jail.

“Safe and Sane Fireworks” are illegal in most parts of San Mateo County and other jurisdictions share Redwood City's desire to maintain a safe 4th of July holiday. To fully inform the community of Redwood City's prohibition on fireworks, all main roadway entrances into the City will be posted with a sign saying "No Fireworks in Redwood City." The signs feature bright red letters on a white background to make them very visible to passing motorists. The City's goal in this effort is for the community to have a safe, fun 4th of July holiday, and to prevent fire or injury incidents related to fireworks.



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