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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

June 27, 2013

Contact: Earl Woodham

PIO Supervisor

(704) 716-1843

ATF Encourages Americans to be Safe with Fireworks

Each Year Death and Injury Occurs on the Independence Day Holiday

CHARLOTTE, NC — The Charlotte Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reminds the public, whether attending community fireworks displays or celebrating with legal backyard fireworks, to exercise caution when dealing with incendiary or legal explosive materials.

As the federal law enforcement agency charged with enforcing federal explosives laws, ATF actively works with other federal agencies, such as the Consumer Products Safety Commission through its fireworks enforcement program, to prevent the possession and trafficking of illegal fireworks, which are technically classified as illegal explosive devices.

ATF Special Agent in Charge, Wayne L. Dixie said, "If past experience is an indicator, in the Carolinas someone will experience serious personal injury or death due to the careless use or handling of fireworks each year around this time. This holiday season is a time to stay safe and enjoy your local and regional festivities with your friends and family, not a time to be seriously maimed or die in a violent and needless manner."

Illegal explosive devices meet neither safety nor quality standards of legally manufactured consumer fireworks. The manufacture and possession of illegal explosive devices can result in federal felony and misdemeanor charges. State and local fireworks laws and regulations differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Before purchasing or using any fireworks, check with the authorities in your areas to find out what is allowed.

ATF would like to remind the public that illegal or improperly used fireworks can cause severe injuries or even death.

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).

More information on ATF and its programs is at