Fireworks sales heat up near RI, MA border

by James Swierzbin


Fireworks that are illegal in Massachusetts are legal just a few feet away in Rhode Island.

That has plenty of people crossing the border, to buy as many as they can afford, so they can take them back to the Bay State and light them up.

The closest fireworks store to the Fall River-Tiverton line is Joker Fireworks.

Business has been picking up at Joker steadily as the 4th of July draws near.

People can buy everything from sparklers, to exploding fireworks that come in the shape of Osama Bin Laden's head.

And all of them are legal to use in Rhode Island, but are illegal in Massachusetts.

At Joker's, there's still more than a few customers who pop in from across the Massachusetts border, to pick some up.

Stuart Cawley lives just a few doors down from Joker's and he sees Massachusetts residents do it all the time.

Cawley says its easy to tell the Mass residents, from the ones who hail from Rhode Island.

“They're looking around and they open the trunk and then they scurry away
 like squirrels.”

Although fireworks sellers know that they're illegal in Massachusetts, there's nothing stopping them from making a buck on Massachusetts residents willing to buy their products and take the risk of getting caught.

“There's really nowhere to get them so anybody who wants to light fireworks off and take the risk, this is the closest place.” said Joker Fireworks employee Tom Wolfe.

If you are caught just having fireworks in Massachusetts, it could cost you anywhere from 10 to 100-dollars, and the police will take them away too.