Councilman suggests ‘social host’ law for illegal fireworks

Victor Gomez

Hollister Councilman Victor Gomez—who has experience with illegal fireworks issues in San Jose where he works full time in the political scene—is among officials wanting to address the matter from a policy standpoint and he doesn’t believe it’s relevant to the legal safe and sane fireworks.
There was a lot of illegal activity near his home on the southeast side July 4, the same night when illegal fireworks shot into a crowd on Brigantino Drive, injuring five children and resulting in the arrest of a 35-year-old Hollister man, Shawn G. Bourdet.
“They were launching them out of their back yard,” Gomez said about his neighborhood.
Gomez believes the best solution is to put the liability on the property owners where those illegal fireworks are let off. He pointed out that Santa Clara County has adopted a similar “social host” ordinance and San Jose is considering its own. He believes property owners would be more likely to disallow illegal fireworks if they face liability.
“It holds the property owner accountable,” said Gomez, who proposed the city’s social host ordinance alcohol ordinance adopted by the council five years ago.
Gomez said he would be OK with increased fines as suggested by Mayor Ignacio Velazquez earlier in the week. He also stressed that the city would need the ability to enforce the law. Gomez said he would be OK with increased fines as suggested by the mayor. He also stressed that the city would need the ability to enforce the law.

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