L.A. City Attorney orders Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and others to stop advertising illegal fireworks for sale

Local news

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office sent cease and desist orders to online marketplaces in an attempt to crack down on illegal fireworks sales ahead of July 4, officials announced Tuesday.

For the second year in a row City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office asked the online platforms to remove posts advertising fireworks for sale in the city.

He said Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, OfferUp and 5Miles agreed to take down the posts.

Additionally, OfferUp said it added staff and has taken steps to ensure future postings are excluded.

“Facebook Marketplace also said it is working to address how to better identify and remove similar listings going forward,” officials said.

Under L.A.’s municipal code it is considered a misdemeanor to use, sell, possess or discharge any fireworks in the Los Angeles, and selling them on online marketplaces is often a violation of the platform’s own policies prohibiting the sale of fireworks.

“It’s illegal to sell or possess fireworks in L.A. for good reason,” Feuer said during a news conference Tuesday. “Fireworks pose the very real risk of injuries, and our fire danger is acutely high given the ongoing drought.”

He added that fireworks’ loud and sudden noises can be “triggering” for veterans and survivors of gun violence, and can scare children with special needs as well as pets.

The loud noises can cause dogs and cats to escape their homes and yards to look for safety. According to Los Angeles Animal Services, pets go missing during the July 4 weekend more than any other time of the year.

Animal services offer the following tips to pet owners:

  • Make sure your pet has up-to-date identification
  • Keep your pets indoors and in an enclosed room if possible.
  • If you do allow your pet outside, make sure they are on a leash, or that the fence in your hard is secure
  • If you’re having guests over to celebrate, create a safe space for your pet with their favorite blanket and toys and keep the area as quiet as possible by closing windows and doors
  • Look for your pet immediately if they go missing.

The Los Angeles Police Department will accept fireworks without penalty. Residents should call 877-ASK-LAPD for guidance on safely turning them in. Fireworks in your neighborhood can be reported online here.

“Angelenos should leave fireworks to the pros, and with pandemic restrictions easing there will be many spectacular 4th of July events throughout Southern California,” Feuer said. 

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