AUSTIN (KXAN) — Independence Day is Thursday, but complaints have been rolling into Austin’s 311 already.
Since Saturday, June 29, 311 said it’s gotten 44 calls from people reporting illegal fireworks within Austin’s city limits.
Last year, between June 30 and July 4, 311 had 1,059 total service requests for firework noise.
In Austin, it is illegal to use or sell fireworks.
If you want to put on a fireworks show, you have to go through an extensive permit process. But when KXAN took a closer look, it was discovered that police aren’t actually ticketing people for violations.
The Austin Municipal Court confirmed it didn’t have any records of citations written last year around the Fourth of July holiday for the use or possession of fireworks.
Austin Police Commander Jay Bryant explained: “Officers have to see the person lighting the fireworks to issue the citation, so please don’t get frustrated if they come to the area and they don’t issue any citations.”
He did encourage people, however, to call 311 and report fireworks if they’re happening in your neighborhood.
“If the officers leave and fireworks start again,” said Bryant, “Please just call us back. We’d be happy to go back and check the area again.”
Many people said when there are fireworks in neighborhoods, with homes and trees being so close to one another, they worry about fire risks, as well as veterans who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and their pets.
One woman said, “Every year. You can hear it in our neighborhood. You can hear it in surrounding neighborhoods.”
She went onto say, “If it continues to light up and be noisy in the sky, [the pets will] just keep running without any regard to where they’re going, and suddenly they’re lost. Then you have a lost pet, and you have a broken heart.”