, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 24, 2013

Fireworks purchased by bombing suspect up for ban

House delayed action on proposal

New Hampshire officials were close to speechless yesterday when they learned Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older Boston Marathon bombing suspect, had purchased reloadable mortar kits at a Seabrook fireworks store.

Those reloadable shells, as well as so-called helicopters and parachute aerial devices, were up for a potential ban by the New Hampshire state Legislature.

But lawmakers last month decided to delay action on House Bill 336, sponsored by Rep. Charlene Takesian, R-Pelham.

As it now stands, anyone 21 or older can purchase those and many other types of fireworks sold in the Granite State. Tsarnaev reportedly paid cash for the fireworks at Phantom Fireworks in Seabrook in early February.

The fireworks bill was retained in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee for more work. That move followed opposition from businesses that had already stocked up on inventory.

The bill was introduced after a fireworks explosion in Pelham last July injured 13 people, including five children.

The New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office pointed to reloadable shells as a contributing factor in the Pelham accident.

State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan expressed his disappointment last month when the bill was held over.

Yesterday, he reiterated those concerns, as well as concerns specifically about reloadable mortars.

“I have had concerns and had expressed those on a few occasions,” Degnan said, “with regards to possible misuse of pytrotechnics. Bear in mind, any pyrotechnic could be misused. However, reloadable shells are much easier because they are not all packed in the tubes, like multi-shot units.”

The fire marshal reaffirmed his support of the proposed ban.

“I do wish to continue to support the ban and have had some communication with the Criminal Justice and Public Safety chair and I appreciate her retabling the bill so it can be worked on,” Degnan said. “I will continue to work with them to hopefully bring back the previous ban on reloadable shells.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Special Features