ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate
Release

Contact: Debbie Lewis or Jan Kemp

202-927-8500

June
24, 2003

FY 03-12

WORKING
JOINTLY TO HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY

WASHINGTON
- Independence Day is fast approaching and Americans are gearing-up
for the festive holiday. To ensure public safety, the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) would like to remind everyone
that illegal and improper use of fireworks can cause severe injuries,
and even death.

During
the past year, ATF and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
working diligently with the explosives industry and the general public
have seen a decrease in the number of fireworks-related
injuries
. The CPSC, who is the agency that regulates consumer fireworks,
also known as Class C, or "common" fireworks, reported that
8,800 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries attributed
to fireworks during 2002. This year we would like to see that number
go even lower and we need your help to achieve this goal.

ATF
particularly wants consumers to know the dangers of illegal fireworks
- fireworks that are banned federally in every state regardless of varying
state safety statutes. Illegal fireworks include cherry bombs, M-80s,
M-1000s, silver salutes and larger firecrackers containing more than
two grains of powder. Mail-order kits designed to build these fireworks
are also banned. These are
illegal explosive devices - not fireworks - and may explode without
warning, causing injury or death.

The
sale of these products to American consumers is prohibited under the
Federal Hazardous Substances Act. These kinds
of explosive devices that are represented as "fireworks"
are, in fact, small bombs. The manufacturing of these illegal fireworks
can result in federal felony and misdemeanor charges, as well as time
in federal prison.

Because
of the tragedy of Sept.11, 2001, and subsequent events, the public is
reminded to be vigilant in observing their surroundings no matter where
they celebrate. If you see suspicious activity involving illegal fireworks
or explosives, please notify ATF at: 1-800-ATF-BOMB. Said Acting ATF
Director Brad Buckles, "Enjoy the Fourth of July holiday, but please
be aware of your surroundings and remember that using illegal fireworks
or other explosives can be harmful to you or your family and friends."

 

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