WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — In the weeks leading up to the Fourth of July, Central Georgians are hearing pops and bangs all over the place.
Perhaps that's because local fireworks retailers say business is booming.
"I've definitely heard some in my neighborhood a little more frequently over the last couple weeks," says Warner Robins resident Sarah Steinbacher.
After COVID-19 forced the cancellation of several big community celebrations, folks are flocking to stores to buy their own assortment of explosives for the Fourth.
Kathy Jarzynka sells them outside the Houston County Kroger on Highway 96.
"Normally our sales do not pick up until today (June 29), but I can't keep items on the shelf this year," says Jarzynka."They've been buying all the big items."
In just the past few weeks, they've sold more than $10,000 worth of products, but if you're buying the biggest boomers, what's the latest you can light them?
According to Georgia law, you can shoot them off until 11:59 p.m. on July 3rd and 4th.
Remember, you must be at least 18 years old to purchase them and you can't shoot them off on a road or highway or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
You also can't light fireworks within 100 yards of a hospital, nursing home, prison, gas station or nuclear power plant.
If you're caught shooting fireworks off after hours, it is considered a misdemeanor and you could technically be fined up to $1,000, but Warner Robins Police Chief John Wagner says the fines are usually less. According to Wagner, last year officers did not hand out any citations in the International City.
You should check your local ordinances to make sure they don't have any specific local laws in place. Macon and Warner Robins both follow the state law, which says to stop lighting them at midnight.
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