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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

July 1, 2013

Contact: Sr. Special Agent / PIO Thomas Ahern

(312) 846-7228

ATF Encourages Americans to Celebrate 4th of July Safely

CHICAGO — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reminds the public, whether attending community fireworks displays or celebrating with backyard fireworks, to exercise caution when dealing with fireworks.

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 Acting Director B. Todd Jones said, "Each year injuries or deaths are caused by misuse of fireworks or by handling illegal explosive devices. We encourage you to have a safe Fourth of July celebration by being an informed consumer."

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.

To better ensure a safe and happy Fourth of July, the public is encouraged to enjoy the fireworks shows conducted by the licensed professionals.

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