QUAD CITIES, (KWQC) — Tannerite is a brand that sells a binary explosive used for shooting guns, but now the explosive is getting national attention after recent bombings.
Authorities in New York say recent bombings were caused by tannerite. The product is normally used at gun ranges to help identify when a bullet hits a target.
Tannerite is a two part component, each part on it’s own is not explosive. The main ingredients are ammonium nitrate and powdered aluminum.
When the two are mixed the product is still not explosive until it is activated by kinetic energy, like a bullet.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, or ATF, does not classify tannerite and other binary explosives as actual “explosives.”
This means the product can be purchased without any restrictions.
Iowa Representative, Mary Wolfe, said there are laws in the state of Iowa for bombs and explosives, but not for products that could be used to create an explosive or bomb.
Wolfe said the same laws apply to products that could be used to create drugs.
“If we compare making meth to making a bomb, I don’t know if tannerite is more akin to acetone,lithium or more akin to pseudoephedrine, but I’m sure it will be a topic of discussion next session,” said Wolfe.
Since the product is not legally an explosive anyone can purchase it at anytime. Farm &Fleet, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Gander Mountain are chain stores that sell this in the Quad Cities.
The ATF issued a statement saying the organization has no comment regarding tannerite and recent bombings.
Tannerite also issued a statement saying it’s thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by the bombings.
The company is skeptical about it’s product actually being used to make large-scale bombs, and is now conducting it’s own investigation.
Senator Chuck Grassley also issued a statement about tannerite.
“Many explosives are legal, but are subject to heavy regulation. There are also any number of separate substances that alone don’t qualify as explosives but when combined create a totally different, and dangerous, substance. So, the question is how to regulate these types of binary substances,” said Grassley.