HOUSTON - If you're planning to discharge fireworks or firearms in Houston to celebrate the Fourth of July, prepare for the consequences.
The Houston Police Department is reminding people that it is illegal and dangerous, and they plan to enforce safety regulations within the city.
Those who put off fireworks face a fine between $500 to $2,000 for each individual firework.
If a minor is caught with fireworks, the parent or guardian will receive the fine, even if they were unaware of the minor's possession or usage.
HPD is encouraging the community to enjoy the Shell Freedom Over Texas fireworks display from downtown. Open spaces and neighborhood parks with a view of the western downtown skyline are ideal.
Eleanor Tinsley Park will be open for fireworks viewing only to Houstonians who park downtown and walk to the park. Motorists are reminded not to park on freeway overpasses, as it is illegal to impede a roadway or block traffic.
Those who fire guns into the air during Fourth of July celebrations also face harsh punishment.
Discharging firearms in Houston is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, a $4,000 fine, or both.
The dangerous practice of shooting guns into the air isn't just illegal, in the past it has wounded and killed Houstonians.
HPD says reports of gunshots also pull officers away from other needed calls for service in our neighborhoods.
If you want to report the illegal use of fireworks, call the HPD non-emergency number at 713-884-3131.
Calling 9-1-1 should be reserved for life-threatening emergencies.