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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

St. Paul Field Division

For Immediate Release

Thursday, June 28, 2018
Contact: Ashlee Sherrill

ATF Promotes Fireworks Safety

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) St. Paul Field Division urges local residents to celebrate a safe Independence Day when it comes to fireworks. Handling illegal fireworks can lead to severe injuries or even death.

“We want everyone to be able to safely enjoy the upcoming holiday,” said St. Paul Field Division Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn. “Pay close attention to the fireworks you are purchasing. Make sure that they are consumer-grade fireworks from a reputable dealer, and because laws vary from city to city, state to state, be sure you are following state and local regulations.”

ATF works with the Consumer Products Safety Commission to prevent trafficking of fireworks and illegal explosive devices, such as M-80s, M-100s, quarter sticks, cherry bombs and silver salutes, as they are commonly referred. While these devices are sometimes confused with fireworks, they are not lawful for use by non-licensed consumers. 

“When considering whether a firework is legal, a key thing to look for is generic or non-labeled packaging and/or poor quality construction,” Thielhorn continued. “Illegal explosive devices meet neither safety nor quality standards of legally manufactured consumer fireworks. Friction, heat, or impact can cause these devices to unintentionally explode.”

ATF and its partners are committed to preventing fireworks related tragedies and are on the lookout for criminal elements attempting to taint legitimate business activities of fireworks industry members. The public is urged to report the use or sale of illegal fireworks or explosive devices by calling the toll-free ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662). The illegal manufacture, sale, transfer, receipt or transportation of explosive devices can result in federal felony and misdemeanor charges.

More information on ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov. Also, seek out state laws and local government ordinances for further rules and regulations related to fireworks.

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Field Division: St. Paul Field Division