Exploding Targets: Shooting Aid or a ‘Bomb Kit for Dummies?’
In one video that is now an Internet staple, a Minnesota man in 2008 detonated 100 pounds of Tannerite in the dump box of an old dump truck, sending the truck aloft — while rattling a nearby nuclear power plant and, inconveniently, the police department.
The nuclear plant went into a short lockdown and the man later pleaded guilty to two felonies involving explosives.
Last year, Maryland became the first state to regulate exploding targets, requiring users to be trained and licensed to handle explosives. Some California jurisdictions have also interpreted state law to restrict use of the targets.
And last month, exploding targets got even more notoriety when the U.S. Forest Service banned the targets on its property in five western states (Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas) saying the targets ignited 16 fires on Forest Service lands coast-to-coast since January 2012. The cost of extinguishing those fires: more than $33 million.
Forest Service officials say they hope to extend the year-long ban, and extend it nationwide.
And in March, the FBI distributed a bulletin to law enforcement agencies nationwide warning that exploding targets could be used “as an explosive for illicit purposes by criminals and extremists” and its components could be used to make IEDs.