Springfield Firefighters Warn About Exploding Target Use

By Matt Lupoli | mlupoli@kolr10.com

Published 06/30 2014 08:25PM

Updated 06/30 2014 10:30PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Fire officials in Springfield are warning against the improper use of exploding targets as the 4th of July nears.

The city's bomb squad recently conducted a controlled test of the products, which are commonly called by name brand Tannerite.

"It's not intended for fun," Springfield Fire Marshal Kevin Binam said.

The fire department said an increase in popularity and complaints by locals baffled by booms prompted them to look into the dangers of explosive targets.

"It was designed to be used in sporting events for people using long range shots, so they can actually see if they can hit the target," Binam said.

Firefighters fear an growing number of people are using them not for target practice, but for show -- even uploading their explosive exploits online.

Binam said across the nation, mixing in too much of the explosive and shooting at a closer range than required has led to the loss of limbs.

"It's usually loss of a hand, there was a girl that stepped on it and had a foot injury," Binam said. "If you start using it in a way that's not intended to be used, you're putting yourself at risk and other people at risk."

A statement from the fire department said officials will have a zero tolerance policy this holiday for anyone using the targets illegally. They stressed the ordinance making the discharge of a firearm illegal within city limits, and said detonating the target any other way could violate state and federal laws on explosive, which could bring felony charges.

"Once you start changing what it's used for, if you start putting in containers it's not designed for, you start looking at an improvised explosive device which is a crime," Binam.

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