Firework sales are exploding as people prepare for their Fourth of July celebrations. Some people go to the Kansas-Oklahoma state line to buy illegal fireworks.
TNT Fireworks is open to anyone who wants to add their own sparkle and boom to their Fourth of July celebrations. In their tent, you'll find things you can not buy at many stands in Kansas. TNT Fireworks is right across the state line. They say that eighty percent of their business comes from Kansas.
TNT Fireworks Manager, Michelle Humble, says that most of their trade is from Kansas and is why they stock smaller items. The problem is some Kansans, like Andrew Rippe, don't come to buy the small stuff. They come to buy things like bottle rockets, which may be perfectly legal to sell and shoot in Oklahoma, but not where Andrew lives in Kansas.
This doesn't stop Kansans from buying them and doing so. Rippe says it doesn't bother him one bit.
Firework stand owner Michelle Humble says with all the varying rules and regulations in each county she has no way to regulate.
Humble says, "We don't see that as our responsibility to keep track of what they buy. They know what their regulations are and they need to purchase accordingly."
Law enforcement officers say they also have a hard time catching who brings what across the state line. People like Andrew Rippe say until the penalties get tougher in Kansas, they'll continue to drive south for fireworks.
Law enforcement here in Sedgwick County say they will crack down on illegal fireworks this year, reminding you that having them could earn you a $500 fine.