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Ex-NBA Star Gilbert Arenas Arrested for Illegal Fireworks

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on June 28, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Ex-NBA star Gilbert Arenas was arrested for having illegal fireworks -- a truckload of them. When the ex-Washington Wizards guard was pulled over for speeding early Thursday in Los Angeles, authorities discovered that his Ford pickup truck was filled with more than 20 boxes of illegal fireworks, reports TMZ.

In fact, there were so many explosives -- about 100 pounts of 'em -- that the Los Angeles Police Department's bomb squad had to be called in.

This just goes to show you that even a (former) Wizard can't keep illegal firworks.

A Slam-Dunk Case?

After police spotted the fireworks in the truck's bed and cab, Arenas was charged with misdemeanor possession of illegal fireworks. He was also cited for speeding and driving without a license, according to TMZ.

All 50 states have laws, albeit varying ones, when it comes to the legal purchase and use of fireworks. Most states have an age requirement as to how old you can be if you want to purchase fireworks. These restrictions can range anywhere from 12 to 18.

Fortunately for Arenas, he's a grown man. Unfortunately for Arenas, he was in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, like many other cities in California, has banned the purchase and use of fireworks.

Part of the reason is because of the high risk of wildfires in California. There is a coordinated attack on illegal fireworks this year because it's been a particularly dry year in the Golden State.

Potential Penalties

Those cited face fines of up to $50,000 and jail terms of up to one year. In addition, parents may be held liable for any fire damage or injury caused by their children using illegal fireworks.

If you're in California, don't worry, you can still get your fix of sparkly fire this Fourth of July -- and you don't even have to pull an Arenas.

California has approved a variety of "Safe and Sane" fireworks that offer exciting displays but do not go up into the air, explode, or move about on the ground in an uncontrolled manner, according to Fire Engineering magazine. These go on sale every year in the week before the Fourth of July and are the only legal fireworks for use on the holiday.

Even if you're in a state where you can legally buy some fireworks and use them in your July Fourth celebration, keep in mind that safety with fireworks is the key to having a fun, injury-free party.

Arenas should count his lucky stars that no one got hurt from the mountain of fireworks in his truck.

A Wizard should really know better.

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