City Attorney Mike Feuer said Thursday that several major online companies have agreed to remove advertisements for illegal fireworks from their platforms.
Following investigations and outreach by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Letgo and OfferUp agreed to remove specific fireworks-related posts, increase their efforts to remove all posts offering fireworks for sale and cooperate closely with the office on this effort, Feuer said.
“All of us are feeling under siege by illegal fireworks, so I’m pleased these online platforms responded so quickly and agreed to remove fireworks posts and work with our office to delete future ones,” Feuer said. “Fireworks in L.A. are illegal for good reason. They are extremely dangerous for all Angelenos, and especially harrowing for veterans with PTSD, kids with special needs and pets. Our work targeting sales on the most popular online platforms makes illegal fireworks that much harder to buy.”
The City Attorney’s Office’s internal investigators uncovered information on how sellers of fireworks attempt to hide their posts from being monitored, and they alerted the platforms of consumer complaints.
In Los Angeles, it is unlawful to use, possess, sell or discharge any fireworks, and the California Health and Safety Code prohibits the sale of any firework unless the State Fire Marshal has approved.
Sales of more powerful and dangerous fireworks are additionally prohibited unless the seller has first verified that the buyer has a valid permit to receive, use or transport such fireworks. Violations of all of these laws are misdemeanors, Feuer said.
Throughout the country, reports of illegal fireworks being set off have skyrocketed this year. Unauthorized fireworks displays pose grave public health and safety dangers at a time when emergency rooms are concentrating on surging COVID-19 cases, Feuer said.
The platforms advised the City Attorney’s Office that consumers also can directly assist with these efforts by flagging any posts offering fireworks they see.
Consumer complaints about the sale or use of illegal fireworks may be filed at complaint.lacity.org/Complaint/fireworks/.
People may also turn in their illegal fireworks without penalty to the Los Angeles Police Department and call 877-275-5273 for guidance.
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