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Exploding targets become startling trend in IE

October 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Riverside County authorities are sending out a warning about the danger of exploding targets -- targets that blow up when fired on -- that they say sparked a recent fire.

Riverside County Sheriff's Department held a demonstration to show the dangers of setting off those types of explosives, which has become a troubling trend in the Inland Empire. Just two weeks ago, Cal-Fire says a man shooting at explosive targets started a wildfire in Banning.

"That fire burned 364 acres, and it was in a shooting area," said Cal-Fire Chief John Hawkins.

The problem is many of these explosives can simply be bought over the Internet. However, in California it is illegal to possess them without a proper permit. But that isn't stopping people, and one of the concerns is that people don't know how dangerous the materials really are.

"A lot of the information that is being disseminated by the manufacturer of these types of materials on the Internet, gun shows, or anywhere you can purchase these materials is misleading, and absolutely wrong," said Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach.

At the demonstration, authorities showed the crowd destruction from 2 pounds of the explosive material placed inside a car. Once the explosives were set off, the car was decimated.

"I want you to keep in mind that's 2 pounds, and most people buy 10 to 20 pounds or more at a time," said Hawkins.


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