Buddhist monks in trouble for shooting off fireworks

Buddhist monks in Albuquerque, N.M. get a talking-to from a police officer for shooting off illegal fireworks on the Fourth of July.

CBS affiliate KRQE

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Ignorance of the law is no excuse - apparently, not even if you're a Buddhist monk.

Albuquerque authorities say that among more than a dozen citations for illegal fireworks handed out July 4th, one was given to a group of Buddhist monks, CBS affiliate KRQE-TV reports.

Fire Department inspector Darrick Pino said the citation was written after authorities stumbled upon an audience watching a fireworks show from the Hoi Phuoc Buddhist Temple. The monks were setting off a treasure trove of illegal fireworks, including Roman candles and mortars, Pino said.

Albuquerque was under fireworks restrictions due to high fire danger.

According to KRQE, one woman in the group told Pino that somebody gave the temple the fireworks, telling them they were legal. She told authorities the monks don't watch TV, listen to the radio or read newspapers, and didn't know there was a fireworks ban.

What, no twitter?

"It's still your responsibility to know the laws of the land," Pino said.

The citations can carry a fine of up to $500 or 90 days in jail.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness do have with limitations.