Bloomberg: If sparklers are legal, the terrorists will win

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Robby Soave Reporter
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Citing national security concerns and the war on terror, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked New York Gov. Michael Cuomo to ban the sale of children’s fireworks.

City officials worried that sparklers — handheld fireworks that emit colorful sparks and are often waved through the air by kids on the Fourth of July — could be used in terrorist attacks, according to The New York Post.

“A recent attempt to harm innocent lives provides a frightening example of how legally purchased… Fireworks can cause dramatic harm and even kill,” said Joseph Garba, Bloomberg’s state legislative director, in a statement.

Garba was referring to the case of the failed 2010 Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, who used a legally-purchased firecracker to trigger his car bomb. The ignition device failed, however, and the bombing was unsuccessful.

Although firecrackers contain gunpowder, sparklers do not.

The state legislature recently approved a bill that would permit the sale of sparklers for the weeks of Fourth of July and Christmas only. The legislation exempted New York City, where sparklers will remain illegal. But Bloomberg’s office fears that would be terrorists could purchase sparklers elsewhere, and sneak them into the city to use them in their nefarious plots.

Bloomberg wants Cuomo to veto the bill.

If signed into law, the bill would “open the floodgates to a frightening new world of sparkler-wielding terrorism,” the Gothamist’s John Del Signore noted sarcastically.

Bloomberg has previously sought to curtail New Yorkers’ consumption of cigarettes and large sodas.

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