ATF Warns Consumers: Illegal Explosives Are Not Fireworks

| July 3, 2011

NEW ORLEANS – Special Agent in Charge Phillip M. Durham of the New Orleans Field Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), asks the public to use caution with fireworks when celebrating the Fourth of July.

"ATF regulates explosives and investigates most crimes and accidents involving explosives. We want to ensure that those who are planning on celebrating the holiday do so in a safe environment that is free of illegal explosives devices that could severely injure someone," Durham said.

ATF wants to make consumers aware that illegal explosives devices are not fireworks, users risk injury, disfigurement or death by manufacturing or using them. Illegal explosives devices – commonly referred to as M-80s, quarter sticks, or cherry bombs – often come in plain brown or white wrappers, with no identifying marks. Mail-order kits designed to build these devices are also banned. The manufacture and possession of these illegal explosives devices can result in felony and misdemeanor charges.

"Buy fireworks from reputable vendors," Durham recommended."Many states have requirements for vendors to obtain permits to sell fireworks. Too often, non-reputable vendors sell deadly, illegal explosives devices that may explode prematurely in your hand or pocket."

Durham said "Discourage foolishness and games while using fireworks and never mix alcohol and explosives."

The public is urged to report illegal fireworks sales to their local law enforcement or by calling ATF’s hotline number at 1-888-ATF BOMB (1-888-283-2662). More information on ATF and its programs can be found at

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Category: CSI Security Alerts

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