MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The city of Minneapolis says since May 1, their 311 call center has received 332 complaints about fireworks, compared to 13 complaints this same time last year.
Minneapolis isn’t alone in hearing more fireworks at night. Many cities have been reporting an increase of fireworks, and on Tuesday the mayor of New York City announced he was creating a 40 member illegal fireworks taskforce to crack down on the issue.
NextDoor app message boards and neighborhood Facebook groups across the Twin Cities have been filled with messages of people also noticing the fireworks.
At Phantom Fireworks in Roberts, Wisconsin, the manager tells us business has been booming and he thinks it’s because with COVID-19, people are forced to make their own entertainment.
“It’s been real busy because a lot of fire work shows have been canceled so people have been telling me they’re going to do their own fireworks at home. So, we have long lines and we’re busy,” manager Jeff Sorge said.
Several Twin Cities residents shopping at the store told us the same thing.
“We’re just looking to have some fun with the family, get together... everything is canceled,” Marin Herndon said.
Some said they’ve also been noticing more fireworks in their own Twin Cities neighborhoods.
“Yes, in the last week I might have heard more. My neighborhood is really quiet,” shopper Maurice Perkins said. He said he doesn’t think it’s unusual this time of year. “It’s kind of normal. I kind of like it though.”
In a press conference on Sunday Minneapolis police addressed the increase in fireworks complaints.
“We would love to be able to have the ability to go after fireworks complaints, things like that, and we will when we have the time, but sadly we’re really focusing our efforts on the preservation of life,” Minneapolis Police Spokesperson John Elder said.
Elder said he did not have any information on why there might be this increase.
One reason could be with recent unrest in many cities across the country, people are just noticing the noises more. There could also be an increase because people at home are restless. Looking at conversations people are having online about the issue, some more conspiracy theories about the fireworks start to emerge.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said they are not investigating any cases of illegal fireworks that rise to the level of their intervention.