A prominent U.S. senator is calling on the nation’s top regulators to restrict the purchase of an over-the-counter rifle target the causes an explosion when shot with a rifle.
Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal says he will ask the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to require buyers of explosive targets known as Tannerite to register their purchase or provide identification that they are over 21.
“This kind of bomb making material is a real threat and a growing threat and a growing risk,” said Blumenthal in an interview with NBC News. “There should be regulation that … better tracks these devices.”
“There is no justification for buying this product in bulk,” he added.
The move comes as NBC News broadcast stories about Tannerite that show users creating massive explosions — blowing up cars, barns and refrigerators, sometimes causing severe injury or death. In a segment on the Today Show titled “Bombs For Sale?” reporter Jeff Rossen claimed the exploding targets were similar to bombs used in the Oklahoma City bombing and those used by terrorists to “kill Americans in Afghanistan.”
“Right now I am basically holding a bomb in my hand and you will never believe where I got this: a sporting goods store,” Rossen said while holding two jars of Tannerite.
But the company came out swinging, telling Rossen the exploding targets — which require the user to mix two compounds and will only activate with the impact of a highpowered rifle round — have been deemed legal by the ATF and any injuries stem from improper use.
Tannerite added that critics of the targets are “girly-men,” Rossen said in his segment.
On March 30, Bob Owens from Bearing Arms reported that the company had sued NBC for libel for its Today Show spot, claiming the network falsely called the exploding targets “bombs” and made “defamatory statements with malice.”
“This is not a case of simply twisting the truth, this news piece included lies and misleading statements to make their point,” lawyers for Tannerite allege. “We are confident of the merits of this case, and that our client will be victorious.”