As Charlotte-area firework sales increase, so do firework-related calls to police

As Charlotte-area firework sales increase, so do firework-related calls to police
Tony Bayse at TNT Fireworks in Charlotte's Arboretum area says sales have increased 130-150 percent since this time last year. (Source: Amanda Foster)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Residents in Charlotte, and across the country, are reporting more sights and sounds of fireworks in their neighborhoods.

The increase in fireworks going off at night appears to extend over the last few weeks, or months in some areas, though the reason for the increase also appears to be a bit of a mystery.

Tony Bayse, from TNT Fireworks, sells fireworks that are legal in North Carolina. His shop is located in a tent at the Walmart parking lot in Charlotte’s Arboretum area.

There are many like it across the city.

Bayse said he has seen many people coming into his shop to stock up for at-home firework shows.

Many people are just looking for something to do at home, while under COVID-19 related restrictions.

“Everyone’s looking for something to do, they want to get out and have a little bit of fun,” Bayse said. “They’ve been stuck in their house since March or February, depending on when they started watching that, and they want to get out and just do something, just kind of let out a little bit of steam.”

Meanwhile, not everyone is enjoying the show. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say that between June 1 and June 22 of 2019, there were 29 total firework-related calls into their department. During that same time period of 2020, there were 587.

Bayse said his sales at TNT have increased 130 to 150 percent from this time last year, and he is grateful for the business during this time.

He said his customers have seemed to want to be considerate of those around them while setting off their at-home shows.

“We hear a lot, ‘I want to put on something that’s going to be entertaining and colorful ‚but I don’t want to put on anything that’s going to scare the neighbors, the dogs, soldiers, people with PTSD,‘” Bayse said.

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