New Yorkers traveling to Pennsylvania to buy fireworks
This time of year, the population of Matamoras, Pennsylvania always seems to skyrocket. Our Christian Farrell has more on why business is booming each summer across the state line.
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PORT JERVIS, N.Y. -- In New York, fireworks are legal if you have the proper permit to set them off. If you don’t have a permit, a purchase like this is illegal in New York. But that’s not the case in Pennsylvania, where fireworks are sold legally.
"We are going to shoot them off by the lake. But we're not going to tell you that location because we want to enjoy them," said Brian Bentley, a New York City resident.
At Phantom Fireworks in Matamoras, the parking lot is full the day before the Fourth of July. It’s full of out of town-ers looking for some last minute purchases to help celebrate the holiday.
"Well, this is certainly our biggest business day of the year," said Pat Moran, Phantom Fireworks store manager.
Getting to Pennsylvania from the City of Port Jervis simply involves crossing a bridge.
"It makes it difficult. A lot of residents in New York State go over to Pennsylvania, buy fireworks, and they do shoot them off. If they are found in violation of shooting the fireworks off, we will enforce that. We will give people appearance tickets. It is a violation of the law," said Sgt. James Flynn, Port Jervis P.D.
According to police, extra officers will be on patrol to try and control the use of illegal fireworks.
"We do get inundated with firework calls. And having the extra manpower does help out," said Sgt. Flynn.
According to some customers, they'll continue to come back to Pennsylvania to purchase what's illegal in New York until someone changes the law.
"Here's what we have to do - drill for gas, legalize marijuana, fireworks, and another casino. That's the answer," said Lowell Victor, a Monticello resident.