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Missouri Company Ordered To Stop Manufacturing and Selling Illegal Fireworks

Release Date: January 17, 2003

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing today that Max 2000 Inc., of Stanton, Mo., and company officials Thomas and Mary Scaman, have agreed to stop manufacturing and selling an illegal agricultural firecracker that was widely available to consumers. Max 2000 made and sold over one million ""Pest Control Report 2000"" (PCR 2000) firecrackers that each contained nearly 1,000 milligrams of explosive powder, which is far in excess of the legal limit for consumer firecrackers. These firecrackers, if used by consumers, could cause serious injuries or death.

The company and individuals signed a consent decree of permanent injunction, which was approved and entered on the record by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

"In 2001, there were an estimated 9,500 visits to emergency rooms across the country because of injuries related to fireworks," said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. "To help bring this statistic down, CPSC is going after companies that violate the law by selling professional or agricultural fireworks to consumers. Illegal firecrackers like the PCR 2000 can maim or kill and should not be purchased by consumers."

Around January 1998, Max 2000 began selling the Pest Control Report 2000 to fireworks wholesalers and retailers, as well as gun and ammunition dealers, who in turn sold them to consumers through catalogs, the Internet and fireworks stands. CPSC investigators found that the company did not comply with federal requirements that strictly limit the sale of firecrackers of this size to farmers, ranchers, or growers for the purpose of legitimate pest control.

The charges in the federal complaint against Max 2000 include the following illegal transactions: 400,000 PCR 2000 devices sold to All American Professional Fireworks, of Angola, Indiana; 10,000 PCR 2000s to Firequest Inc., of El Dorado, Ark.; 450,000 PCR 2000s to All Purpose Ammo LLC (also known as Planet Ammo), of Seneca, S.C.; 290,000 PCR 2000s to Self Defense Supply, of Richardson, Texas; and 33,000 PCR 2000s to Astro Spectacular Inc., of Hooksett, N.H.

All American Professional Fireworks is owned by Kenneth Shearer who was found guilty by a jury on June 20, 2002, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, of violating federal explosives and transportation laws in connection with his sales of different professional fireworks to consumers.

CPSC worked closely and cooperatively with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in Missouri and the Department of Justice's Office of Consumer Litigation to investigate and take legal action against Max 2000.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

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