Senator introduces legislation to regulate explosive - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Senator introduces legislation to regulate explosive

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Tannerite is used for target practice at shooting ranges. Tannerite is used for target practice at shooting ranges.
The explosion caused by large amounts of tannerite has concerned legislators. The explosion caused by large amounts of tannerite has concerned legislators.
Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis)
INDIANAPOLIS -

There are new developments after a 13 Investigates story revealed dangerous explosives sitting on store shelves for nearly anyone to buy.

The explosive is called tannerite and the legislation proposed would restrict who can buy it and where stores selling it are keeping it.

You do not have to be trained to use tannerite, you don't have to have a permit and there are no restrictions on how much a person can buy or use at any one time

"You are dealing with an explosive here and it is a serious issue," said Senator Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis).

Merritt authored the legislation which would restrict the sale of tannerite to people 18 years of age and older and would require retailers to keep the product behind the counter. The legislation has been met with some resistance from his own party and the NRA.

"They look at this as target practice and as fun and they obviously don't want any stipulations and, frankly, what most people think is we're going to ban it and that's just not true," Merritt said.

But Merritt is already getting an earful from gun owners as they post angry messages online and on his phone. An Eyewitness News investigation uncovered some of the potential dangers with tannerite and products like it. The intended purpose is for long range target shooting, but even at long distances, we have shown you metal from a mailbox flying back at us, which is why Indianapolis Metro Bomb Squad Commander Ron Humbert would like to see strong restrictions on explosives like tannerite.

"Somebody is going to take it and figure out how to use as an improvised explosive device that is my bomb squad fear...my other fear is somebody's going to take it, instead of going to a proper shooting range out in the country, whatever, let's just puts this in the backyard and let's shoot it with a handgun, see what happens. It explodes, shrapnel comes through your house," Humbert said.

This summer, a video taken from the cell phone by Jennifer Plank of Pendleton showed a friend of hers shooting at tannerite that had been set inside an old clothes dryer. The video shows shrapnel from the explosion hit the ground and then Plank's arm. She has lost the use of her hand.

Merritt's legislation is designed to keep explosives like tannerite out of the hands of teenagers.

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