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Bam! Pima Supes set safety rules for exploding targets

Posted at 11:43 AM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 15:03:47-04

Exploding targets will remain legal in Pima County but with restrictions meant to make sure target shooters use them safely.

An exploding target detonated by a Border Patrol Agent was implicated in this summer's Sawmill Fire which spread from the Green Valley area to Sonoita.

The new county law requires people who buy exploding targets to be at least 18 years old.  

The target materials are meant to explode when hit by a bullet.  For safety, the explosive material is bought as a two-part mixture that can not explode until the two parts are combined.

The county ordinance forbids transporting the target material when it is combined and potentially explosive.  It must be combined where it is used.  The explosive target may only be used in an area where it will not present a fire hazard.


Todd Rather of the Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association says explosive targets when properly used do not present a fire hazard.  He says they are meant for fun or to help shooters firing at targets at extreme long range to know when they've scored a hit.

Rathner says the target involved in the Sawmill Fire included flammable chalk dust because it was part of a celebration to reveal the gender of a new baby.  Rathner says the chalk dust was pink.