NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A9871
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the labor law, in relation to expand-
ing the definition of explosive
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This legislation would prohibit the
manufacture, ownership, possession, storage, use, transportation,
purchase, sale or gift of the explosive Tannerite or similar product
sold under a different name without the proper license or other authori-
zation to do so under the provisions of law.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 451 of the labor law is amended to expand the definition of
explosives to include two or more components that are advertised and
sold together with instructions on how to combine the components to
create an explosive.
JUSTIFICATION: Tannerite is an explosive made from two separate
compounds, ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder. The compound is
intended to be used as a small exploding target for target practice.
However, when large amounts of the chemicals are combined, the results
can create a powerful and dangerous explosion. In January of 2013 in
Busti, NY, a group of friends target shooting in the woods intentionally
exploded 18 pounds of Tannerite. The explosion rattled neighbors and was
heard miles away. Fortunately, no one was injured. Additional incidents
have been reported elsewhere in New York State and throughout the coun-
try. In Indiana in 2012, a woman lost her hand when a friend exploded
Tannerite inside of a dryer.
In addition, in January of 2013, the FBI published a bulletin warning
that Tannerite may be used as an explosive in improvised explosive
devices, commonly known as IEDs. The bulletin explicitly states, The FBI
assesses with medium confidence criminals and extremists may actively be
attempting to acquire exploding targets to obtain the ammonium nitrate
for use in the manufacture of improvised explosives based on FBI inves-
tigations of individuals interested in manufacturing explosives."
This legislation would allow only licensed and authorized individuals to
access this very dangerous compound making it more difficult for crimi-
nals and terrorists to construct IEDs, as well as mitigate potential
injuries and deaths associated with the explosion of large quantities of
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
IMPACT ON REGULATION OF BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS: Individuals would
no longer be able to sell or buy Tannerite in New York State without the
license required for other explosives.
EFFECT ON FINES, TERMS OF IMPRISONMENT OR OTHER PENAL SANCTIONS: A
violation of this act can result in a class E or class D felony and/or
up to $25,000 in fines.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.