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Indiana senator proposes restrictions on exploding target sales

Posted at 5:36 PM, Dec 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-13 19:38:30-05

INDIANAPOLIS – An Indiana senator has filed legislation that would restrict the sale of exploding targets, often sold under the brand name Tannerite.

Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) filed the bill, which would require retailers to put the products behind the counter and prohibit the sale to customers younger than 18 years old.

“This substance can be extremely dangerous and this bill would provide common-sense regulations to ensure people are aware of the risk involved in using these products,” Merritt said. “Allowing these products to be sold on the store floor leads people to believe that these substances are safe, which is misleading and potentially hazardous.”

The Indiana General Assembly reconvenes on January to begin discussing proposed legislation.

Similar legislation has previously failed, however, Merritt points to exploding target incidents like a New York City explosion that injured dozens of people.

Call 6 Investigates exposed concerns surrounding exploding targets back in 2014, including an FBI bulletin that said exploding targets could be used by criminals and terrorists to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Exploding targets are sold under a variety of brand names, the most popular being Tannerite, and they're supposed to be used by rifle shooters to ensure they hit their target from long range.

Call 6 Investigates found they’re readily available and easy for people of all ages to buy off store shelves in Indiana.

Call 6 Investigates found the products are being misused and abused, because people often use too much, stand too close, or place the product inside something that can create shrapnel.

Jennifer Plank-Greer, of Kokomo, lost her hand at a friend's house in Ohio on May 6, 2012, from a piece of flying shrapnel.

CALL 6 | Neighborhood explosions concern Indianapolis police, federal authorities | FBI warned of exploding targets prior to NYC explosion

Call 6 Investigates found exploding targets for sale on area store shelves.

Indiana has no restrictions, but stores have their own policies.

It's easy to find videos on YouTube of people using the product to blow up items such as appliances and cars.

The U.S. Forest Service banned the targets on its property in five western states, claiming the exploding targets ignited wildfires that cost more than $33 million to fight.