Independence Day is usually synonymous with fireworks in the good ol’ US of A. But let us not forget that these are dangerous explosives governed by state and local laws. As a minor, you may remember your neighborhood cookout, playing with sparklers or maybe scaring your kid brother by throwing bang snaps (or poppers) at his feet.

One ClearanceJobsBlog user decided to take it a couple of flights of stairs further and build his own firecrackers at home.

Colton123 tried to have too much fun one 4th of July many moons ago, landing himself a felony. It’s now is causing concern as he considers a military career requring a security clearance:

When I was 17 years old I got two charges as a felony as a juvenile as I was trying to make my own fireworks and got turned in by my mom to local police in AZ. 1) is class 4 prohibited weapon 2) class 6 endangerment. I was on probation for two years afterwards. Afterwards I got my rights restored and expunged and records destroyed and even have my ccw. But I know FBI will be able to pull it up. Is there any way or route I can still obtain a security clearance to be able to go into special forces or pilot in the military? 


For an explosive offense, the SF-86 requires you to list it, even if it just the charge. These are one of the few ‘ever’ questions on the form.

Section 22 of the document reads:

“For this section report information regardless of whether the record in your case has been sealed, expunged, or otherwise stricken from the court record, or the charge was dismissed. You need not report convictions under the Federal Controlled Substances Act for which the court issued an expungement order under the authority of 21 U.S.C. 844 or 18 U.S.C. 3607. Be sure to include all incidents whether occurring in the U.S. or abroad.”

This is all reportable.

That being said, time is on your side and a mitigating factor for your once dumb and foolish ways as a minor. If you’ve lived a clean life since, be honest, explain what happened, and how you are an outstanding citizen that loves their country. Time is one of the most significant factors that can mitigate almost any issue – including an explosives related felony.

This 4th of July, maybe just show your patriotism with some American flag paraphernalia.

Colton123 notes, “Well my goal was firecrackers. But I’m sure on paper it does not look like that.”

Uncle Sam agrees.

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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸