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September 30th, 2009
Grijalva Bill Removing Fireworks Restrictions for Indian Tribes Passes House

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1333, legislation introduced by Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva that exempts Indian tribes from restrictions on the purchase of fireworks.

The bill passed by voice vote.

Many of the religious and cultural ceremonies of Indian tribes – including the Pascua Yaqui and the Colorado River Indian Tribes of Arizona – require the use of fireworks. However, the passage of the Safe Explosives Act in 2002 tightened regulations on the sale and transport of explosives, which greatly interfered with the ability of the tribes to purchase fireworks.

H.R. 1333 corrects this unintended consequence by expanding the current law to include Indian tribes as agencies exempt from the permit requirement. Indian tribes are defined as those listed in the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994.

“I am happy that the House has seen fit to pass this non-controversial legislation,” said Grijalva. “This bill upholds two equally important principles: Tribal sovereignty and religious freedom. It permits the tribes to do what they have done for hundreds of years – use fireworks during their Easter religious ceremonies.”

The legislation will now head to the U.S. Senate.

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