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ATF promotes a safe July 4 celebration

Posted: June 30, 2009 12:05 p.m.
Updated: June 30, 2009 2:00 p.m.
LOS ANGELES-- Special Agent in Charge John A. Torres of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) Los Angeles Field Division, encourages Southern California residents to be safe and responsible during Fourth of July celebrations.

With Independence Day just around the corner, ATF reminds the public to keep safety in mind when using fireworks. The instructions printed on the fireworks' product packaging must be followed carefully; and residents need to be aware of their local laws regulating the use of fireworks.

"We want this Fourth of July to be a time to celebrate and show our pride in our country. We do not want it to be marred by anyone, particularly young children getting injured or killed using illegal fireworks," Torres said. "Additionally, with another year of below average rainfall, we must take extra precautions when celebrating with fireworks."

ATF is the federal law enforcement agency charged with enforcing federal explosives law. ATF actively works with federal, state and local agencies to prevent the manufacture, trafficking and illegal possession of illegal fireworks and illegal explosive devices.

Federally banned fireworks include M-80s, M-100s, silver salutes and cherry bombs. The manufacture, sale and possession of these and similar explosive devices can result in criminal charges.

Each year ATF investigates numerous instances involving the illegal manufacture, distribution and possession of illegal fireworks and explosive devices. Recently, during the execution of a search warrant, ATF seized more than 200 pounds of fireworks illegally possessed at a home in Cerritos, Calif.

The public is urged to report illegal sales of professional-grade fireworks or other explosive devices such as M-80s to their local police department and to ATF by calling 1-(888) ATF-BOMB, or 1-(888) 283-2662. Callers may remain anonymous.


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