Bring back peace, quiet, and safety to our Cobb County communities.
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In 2015, the state of Georgia legalized the use and sale of fireworks such as firecrackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets and mortars. Legislation, HB 727, limits where and when firecrackers can be used. Since HB727 was passed the privilege granted by these laws has been abused by citizens across the state, and citizens in Cobb County and its communities demand changing local ordinances to respect ALL citizens, or ban fireworks altogether due to a lack of respect for these laws by some citizens, and an inability of local authorities to enforce these current state and local fireworks laws.
In short, Cobb County and its cities and communities have established their own local laws regarding the use of fireworks. These could be considered reasonable, if citizens abided by them and if the county and city enforced them.
The use of fireworks began this year in many Cobb communities on or before July 1st and have continued through today's date, each night going later and later - well after midnight. The problems caused go beyond noise ordinances. The problem has essentially become an act of terror that affects citizens, their families, and their pets. These instances can be considered acts of terror as they cause a change of lifestyle and extreme safety measures taken by many citizens to accommodate those citizens who abuse city and county ordinances.
It is well-documented that fireworks are psychologically traumatic to pets and to some humans who suffer from PTSD and other psychological disorders. They are more than a nuisance to most. The Humane Society reports an increase in the number of lost pets at this time of year because dogs especially will find some means of "escaping" their fenced in yards, and in some cases their homes.
Citizens who can keep their pets inside to ensure safety have to deal with damage to walls, doors, and windows. Pet owners have to turn the volume up on their televisions, sound and music devices, household fans, etc., in an attempt to drown out the piercing noises that harm animals' acute hearing and disturb the sleep of themselves and family members.
Citizens cannot leave their pets in the safety of their own fenced in back yards on summer evenings to dine out or go shopping because they do not know when their street neighbor or even the neighbor three to four streets over will decide to exercise his or her legal right to "enjoy" a fireworks display. Exercising the freedom to enjoy a night out could mean discovery of the loss of a pet upon arrival home.
Citizens cannot enjoy a meal or a quiet evening on their patios or porches, or even leave their windows open on cool evenings because the fireworks disturb their quiet, their sleep, and terrorize their pets and small children.
The fireworks are not being put to bed at 9 on ordinary days as the city and county ordinances state, but are going well into the morning hours.
We realize there is a shortage of police staff at this time, and that there are other laws that must be enforced. However, acts of terror are violations as well. The use of fireworks at any hour of the day is terrifying to pets and wildlife as well as to many human beings.
Until we can see a change in the state laws, we ask that our local county and city officials take this matter into hand by enforcing the current laws that we have, or indeed declaring fireworks illegal within the county and/or city limits, as some cities found themselves forced to do, with the EXCEPTION of the 4th of July and New Year's Eve, and/or requiring that all fireworks be the silent variety and/or that the hours remain the same as they are for these two holidays.
This is a reasonable concession supported by citizens whose pets have been terrorized, some whose pets have run away, and from citizens who have spent sleepless nights, and have lost the ability to enjoy their homes and outside spaces in the tranquility and peace that should be found on a summer's night in our county, Cobb.
Citizens of Cobb County, Georgia
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