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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

ATF News

For Immediate Release
FY 99-6
Contact: Art Resnick
Date: June 15, 1999


The Bogus Fireworks Danger Factor

Washington--M-80, ashcan, and quarterstick are some of the street
names for illegal explosive devices falsely described as fireworks.
All types of the illegal devices have maimed and/or killed.

A typical M-80 is about the size of a half-roll of dimes, with a fuse.
Quarter and a half sticks are even larger.

An M-80 is "touchy" and a bump, heat or static electricity can detonate
the device in your pocket ... your hand ... your face.

People sometimes sell M-80s in bags of a "gross" (12 dozen) and sometimes
store hundreds of pounds of illegal devices in homes and rental storage
units. Those places become huge, unstable bombs capable of shattering
residences and businesses in an entire city block.

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This was last updated on June 16, 1999