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Safe Explosives Act of 2002

How it affects Boomershoot

Also see how it affects the mining industry and the fireworks industry.

On November 25, 2002 President Bush signed the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and with it the Safe Explosives Act of 2002.  This amended Federal law (see also the ATFE newsletter regarding the changes) in an effort to reduce the risk explosives would be used by terrorists:

U.S. Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) today introduced the Safe Explosives Act of 2002 to keep deadly explosives out of the hands of dangerous individuals seeking to cause destruction of life and property. Although permits are required for interstate purchases of explosives, there are no current uniform national limitations on the purchase of explosives within a single state by a resident of that state. The Kohl-Hatch legislation will close the loophole in current law by requiring people who want to acquire and possess explosive materials to obtain a permit, significantly reducing the availability of explosives to terrorists, felons and others prohibited by federal law from possessing these materials.

Previously the manufacture and sale of explosives strictly within the borders of one state was regarded as outside the domain of the Federal Government.  It was through the interstate commerce clause the Federal Government obtained it's authority to regulate explosives at all.  As seen above intrastate (as opposed to interstate) commence was considered a "loophole".  No rationale was given for the authority the Federal Government had to encroach upon what has always been considered a matter of the individual states.

The impact upon Boomershoot is the following:

bullet"Responsible persons" in charge of the manufacture of the reactive targets must be fingerprinted, photographed, and approved by the ATFE.
bullet"Employee possessors" of reactive targets must submit an application (Boomershoot staff should use this one with some of the fields already filled out) to the ATFE for issuance of a "letter of clearance".
bulletVolunteers helpers who are citizens of foreign countries are, effectively, prohibited from handling reactive targets.

This adversely affects the event because people show up from all over the country (and Canada) to help put on and participate in this yearly event.  Submitting personal information and being put in a government database has a chilling effect on people just wanting to help with a once a year event.

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Email: Joe Huffman
Last updated: February 17, 2009