Citing Riots, France Bans Fireworks Purchases for Bastille Day

France has banned the sale, possession and transport of all fireworks for the upcoming Bastille Day festivities.

The government issued a decree on Sunday prohibiting “pyrotechnic articles” for the July 14 celebrations that mark France’s national day.

The move comes after rioting sparked by last month’s police killing of 17-year-old Nahel M by police in Nanterre.

Official firework displays organized by local authorities are exempt from the ban.

“In order to prevent the risk of serious disturbances to public order during the July 14 festivities, the sale, carrying, transport and use of pyrotechnic articles and fireworks will be prohibited on national territory until July 15 inclusively,” said the edict, published in the French official gazette.

Fireworks were a popular weapon during the week of unrest, which included some of France’s worst urban violence for almost 20 years.

Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne said that in addition to the restrictions on fireworks, a massive security presence would be deployed in order to keep the peace and “to protect the French during these two sensitive days”.

She told Le Parisien newspaper that many people were “quite worried” about the possibility of fresh incidents of violence during the national holiday.

More than 3,700 people were taken into police custody in connection with the recent protests, including at least 1,160 minors, according to official figures.

Bastille Day signifies the start of the French Revolution, which took place more than 200 years ago.