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Shooters could face criminal charges for exploding targets

7:25 AM, Jul 5, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - California fire officials are taking aim at the growing popularity of exploding targets used by recreational shooters.

Exploding targets are the suspected cause of a wildfire in Riverside County last month, according to a safety bulletin issued by a Cal Fire arson investigator.

The chemicals used in exploding targets are shipped as two separate, harmless components that are mixed by the end user.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said people using exploding targets in California could potentially face felony charges.

"The chemicals that the product is made of are legal," Berlant said.  "Mixing the two chemicals together creates an explosive, which is illegal in California without a permit."

Tannerite, a leading manufacturer of exploding targets, claims  federal law supercedes California statutes.

"(Exploding targets) can be legally used for sporting purposes in conjunction with small arms, just like black powder and other exempt sporting powder," the company says on its Website.

In an email to News10, company owner Dan Tanner insisted his product is lawful, even in California.

"It's legal as long as you use it on private property or public property when there isn't a "special order" in effect," Tanner wrote.

Cal Fire investigator Capt. Gregory Ewing, who issued the safety bulletin following the Riverside County wildfire, suggested users of exploding targets could actually be charged with multiple felonies.

"Possessing it with the intent to mix the two parts (thus creating an explosive) is a felony.  Actually mixing the two parts is also a
felony, and detonating it is yet another!" Ewing wrote.

by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net

News10/KXTV

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