Chicagoans flock to Indiana to buy fireworks - New York News

Chicagoans flock to Indiana to buy fireworks

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Fireworks are a big business this time of year, but many people in Illinois don't know what the state laws are, are confused about them, or just flat out disregard them.

In fact, many people travel across the border to Wisconsin or Indiana to buy fireworks that are legal in those states, but aren't legal in Illinois.

Police do occasional crackdowns, but it seems to do very little to slow the sales.

Employees in fireworks stores are being more then helpful for customers interested in those big boomers that light up and rattle the night skies in Chicago and the suburbs.

For many people it's tradition. The problem is, it's also illegal. But for some, the attitude is, "so what?"

"It's for my 10-year-old daughter so, she, I don't' know, I don't seen nothing wrong with them," says Wilda Martinez, from Chicago.

Visit any fireworks store across the Indiana border and you'll see plenty of Illinois license plates.

"I'd say at least 50 percent [travel from Illinois] especially since we're closest to Chicago, you walk right out of our parking lot and you're in Illinois," Uncle Sam Fireworks Manager Richard Wheeler says. ‘So I'd say at least 50 percent of our customers are from Illinois.

But fireworks are also treated like those little white lies. People just don't see the harm in setting them off, as long as no one gets hurt, despite the fact that police, fire and health officials all remind people of the potential danger and the injuries they can cause.

"In my area, they don't really be too worried about firecrackers and stuff, you know, lot of other things going on like shooting and drugs so, you know...." says Antonio Rodgers.

There is no law in Indiana that requires anyone from outside the state to sign a waiver stating that they won't bring them into a state where they are illegal--buyers are just on their own.

There are, of course, plenty of legal ways to enjoy big fireworks displays too.

For fireworks events happening this Fourth of July weekend, click here.

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