LEGAL CORNER: What are some of the ‘unalienable rights’ in the Declaration of Independence?

LEGAL CORNER: What are some of the ‘unalienable rights’ in the Declaration of Independence?

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QUESTION: What are the rules for shooting fireworks in the city limits?

ANSWER: The short answer is that you can’t.

Lake Charles City Code Sec. 8-3.19 is labeled Fireworks, firecrackers, toy pistols; discharging within the city. It provides in part:

"It shall be unlawful for any person to explode a firecracker or fireworks of any kind within the city; provided, however, this subsection shall not apply to pyrotechnic displays, referred to in the fire prevention code herein adopted."

The pyrotechnic displays are generally professional fireworks displays that the City has regulated with permits. One could also be cited for disturbing the peace for violating the City Code Ordinance and be held to suffer fines and penalties. The other larger municipalities have similar provisions. The Parish prohibits fireworks in public parks with no permit. The Parish Ordinance deals more with regulating the sale of fireworks.

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Lake Charles City Code Sec. 8-3.19 is labeled Fireworks, firecrackers, toy pistols; discharging within the city. It provides in part:

"It shall be unlawful for any person to explode a firecracker or fireworks of any kind within the city; provided, however, this subsection shall not apply to pyrotechnic displays, referred to in the fire prevention code herein adopted."

Disturbing the Peace” Section 1-8 of the Lake Charles City Code provides that: "shall be punished by a fine of not exceeding $500.00 or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each day any violation of this Code or of any ordinance shall continue shall constitute a separate offense."

QUESTION: What are some examples of “unalienable rights” that are referenced in the Declaration of Independence?

ANSWER: The Viewer is really asking, “what are the fundamental rights that are guaranteed to us and protected by our foundational documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution?”

The Declaration of Independence reads in part:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

In attempting to discern the U.S. Constitution's privileges and immunities clause in the late 1700's, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Bushrod Washington, nephew to George Washington, in the Federal District Court Case of Corfield v. Coryell, said that these fundamental freedoms may only be restrained by the government when necessary for the good of the whole.

QUESTION: Why does the government regulate fireworks I shoot on my own property?

ANSWER: So, our citizens’ rights to celebrate and enjoy fireworks may be regulated by the government so long as the regulation is for legitimate purposes such as to respect our fellow citizens’ rights of peaceful enjoyment of their own properties homes and that they are done in mind to minimize risk of injury to ourselves and to others. The U.S. Supreme Court and our entire judicial system sorts out this basic tension every day.

Disclaimer: The information furnished in this answer is general and may not apply to some situations. All legal situations are unique. No one should rely to their detriment on these answers. Anyone with a potential legal problem should seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action or inaction. The answers provided are not intended to be specific legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created between the SWLA Law Center and the viewers of KPLC-TV.

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