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Muskogee to fine or jail on misuse of fireworks

Fireworks sales
Posted at 9:57 PM, Jul 01, 2024

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Muskogee City Councilor Melody Cranford told 2 News July 1 city officials and neighbors alike have seen too many examples online and in person of "fireworks battles" happening around town during days which fireworks use isn't allowed.

On June 24 the city council adopted an emergency ordinance to enforce a ban on fireworks use except on July 4th. Penalties include a $500 fine or worse.

"Up to six months jail time if people's property or even their person is damaged during the 4th of July fireworks celebrations," Councilor Cranford said. "So we wanted to do our due diligence."

The other side to this story is that selling fireworks are a big moneymaker for small businesses across the county with stands like the TNT stand in Muskogee's Walmart parking lot.
The folks selling there aren't doing it for profit, either. They're doing it for their church programs.

"We have a food pantry and a clothing closet and we do one free meal a month (for the homeless)," Judy Johnson of Freedom Fellowship Church of The Nazarene said. "This is our major fundraiser for both the church and the ministries center. So what we make here we try to make last the whole year."

Johnson and church deacon Bob Meuller help run the TNT Fireworks stand, and want to make sure they can keep it in the future.
"Because I know if they get rid of being able to do it in the city limits, then there's no need for these stands," Johnson said.

Johnson said the church and the councilor need the public's help by following the rules this year to keep fireworks legal, even if it's just the day of July 4th.
"You need to be smart with the fireworks," Johnson said. You can have fun with them but you can also be smart. And you can, you know, be safe with them."

"This is a community effort and I want our community to be successful," Cranford added.

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