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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives


Contacts: Sheree L. Mixell

Donna Sellers


Immediate Release

July 2, 2004



WASHINGTON - Summer is here and Americans nationwide are preparing to celebrate Independence Day. For many, the day will include traditional celebrations that culminate with booming explosions of red, white, blue, green, yellow and purple lighting the night sky. These colorful displays of patriotism, usually hosted by cities, municipalities and civic organizations, provide spectators with a safe venue for watching fireworks. Unfortunately, illegal fireworks sometimes are used in backyard celebrations. Illegal fireworks are unsafe and can cause injuries and even death.

"We all need to understand the danger of serious injuries such as burns to the face and limbs that can be caused by illegal fireworks," said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director Carl J. Truscott.

"M-80," "M-1000," "Silver Salutes," and "cherry bombs," are illegal products and may be very tempting to consumers. The sale of these explosives devices is prohibited under the Federal Hazardous Substance Act.

ATF actively works with other federal law enforcement agencies and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) through its fireworks enforcement program to prevent trafficking of illegal fireworks. The joint efforts of ATF, CPSC and the Department of Transportation resulted in an Indiana man receiving an 80-month sentence for dealing in illegal fireworks.

Traffickers of illegal explosives looking for a sale may approach the public at any time. Consumers are warned not to purchase these illegal explosives. "Be safe, and keep your family, friends and neighbors safe from the dangers of illegal fireworks," Truscott said. "Report illegal activity to the local authorities or call the ATF nationwide toll-free number 1-800-ATF-BOMB."

For more information on ATF visit ATF's Web site at