Ads for Fireworks, Illegal in NY, Sent to Staten Islanders

By Zachary Kussin
|  Wednesday, Jun 1, 2011  |  Updated 11:36 AM EDT
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Fireworks Ads in Staten Island

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Staten Islanders are being blasted with mailings from a fireworks company advertising an array of fireworks -- from mortars to rockets -- available for purchase in Pennsylvania, but illegal in New York.

The Staten Island Advance reported Wednesday that Sky King Fireworks, a Florida-based company, is sending 32-page fliers to local residents.

And authorities are warning New Yorkers that the devices are illegal here.

"I want to give Staten Islanders ample warning: if you purchase fireworks without a permit and bring them into this state, you will be arrested, you will be charged and you will be prosecuted," Richmond County District Attorney Daniel Donovan told the Advance.

Without a permit -- most often obtained by professionals for firework displays -- it is illegal in New York State to sell, possess or use fireworks. Punishment ranges from a $250 fine to a class "A" misdemeanor, which carries a steeper fine and up to a year in jail.

The firework flier contains fine print that warns Staten Islanders of the potential for arrest.

"Although it does push the legal envelope, the flier in and of itself does not constitute a crime," said Donovan.

Under Pennsylvania state law, non-Pennsylvania residents are allowed to purchase fireworks from Pennsylvania retailers licensed by the state Department of Agriculture, as long as the fireworks are transported out of the state by the seller or purchaser.

Since 2005, NYPD undercover teams have targeted New York residents purchasing firecrackers in Pennsylvania by essentially following them until they arrive back in New York where officers then make the arrest. The cars and cargo are later impounded.

Two of the Sky King company's Pennsylvania stores are located close to Staten Island, just over an hour's drive across the New Jersey/Pennsylvania border.

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