Man Who Had Explosion For Baby Gender Reveal Faces Jail

There are many ways for a couple to announce the sex of their first child to friends and family on Facebook.

You can't go wrong with a cute family photo, but one couple went for a far more bold approach -- triggering an explosion that launched blue powder into the air.

Nebraska man Jon Sterkel has since been issued a ticket for setting off an explosive without a required state permit.


The offense is a Class I misdemeanor, which could lead to him being jailed for a year.

Sterkel and his wife, Ashley, decided they would announce the sex of their baby by illegally shooting an exploding target to reveal blue smoke,  all to reveal the child will be a boy.

They filmed a video of the bang and posted it on Facebook. As the blue smoke fills the air, Sterkel shouts, “It's a boy!”

But the blast was heard three miles away in Scottsbluff, causing panic among locals who quickly called the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff's Office, the Omaha World-Herald reported.


When the couple heard about the confusion on the radio, Sterkel called police to explain -- but was then handed a ticket, punishable by a $1,000 fine or a year behind bars.

Sterkel, 26, took to Facebook again to explain his actions, writing,

I would like to apologize for all of the confusion. This was just our way of announcing what gender our baby was.

They were reportedly unaware the act was illegal.


Sterkel, the owner of a tree care service, said he wanted to warn others before they make the same mistake. He said,

People need to follow the proper protocol. We never knew, and we've shot these for years. If you can go to a store and buy it, how in the world can you know it's illegal?

While it is legal to buy explosives, they require a permit to be set off.

Scotts Bluff County Sheriff Mark Overman said Sterkel has been cooperative, no one was injured and nothing was damaged.

The couple's baby boy is due in June.

Citations: Nebraska couple announces baby's gender with exploding target; dad ticketed after investigation (Omaha World-Herald)