KELLY, La. (KNOE 8 News) - People have heard loud booms echo through Caldwell Parish this week. What turned out to be Tannerite explosive targets rattled window and scared neighbors.
"Wednesday we were at the house and heard a tremendous boom," says Aubrey Bratton who lives in the Dave Road area of Kelly, "I do a lot of flying, traveling overseas and I thought a plane went down right off the bat."
Ron Schleuter who works the gun counter at TP Outdoors in West Monroe says these types of exploding targets are used for long-range training.
"These things were developed as a training aid," says Ron, "it would explode to alert them that they hit where they were aiming."
Excessive amounts have been used to demolish barns, blow up appliances, and - in one instance on YouTube - even hunt hogs.
In Kelly, a group of adults and children were off Highway 506 using Tannerite to blow up a refrigerator. Though the explosion was legal, it was done on top of a 50+ year old gas pipeline.
"Since then, I've talked to Texas Gas local and district manager and he tells me they are having the same problem all over," says Caldwell Sheriff Steve May.
The group using the Tannerite was given a warning for now, but Sheriff May says if used again in an area like the pipeline, it will be considered criminal mischief.
Bratton says his windows shook during the explosion, and he's asking for some regulations and restrictions on the product.
"It needs to be regulated somehow or another. It's going to take someone getting injured, or maimed or killed before they do something about it," says Sheriff May who reached out to lawmakers this week hoping to put an end to the misuse of explosive targets.
We reached out to the CEO of Tannerite, Daniel Tanner, who gave us the following statement regarding the inappropriate use of his product:
"It's stupid. The same stupidity applies to people who misuse over-the-counter gun powder on a daily basis in this country. The man who was killed this week in Oregon with a pipe bomb, etc. The 740 kids per year killed on bikes. It's all a shame.
The rules state that a rifle target should be 1 pound or less and used as a shot-indicator only. This is the intended use per FBI. The only exception on the size is when a larger target is a necessity such as 1000 yard shots, etc. That is why we self-regulated.
The problem is infringers who sell extremely large targets, and another problem is people adding target composition together. In any case, when they blow something metal up with it, or anything for that matter, they have broken the law.
So, if anyone wants to put an end to it, simply arrest the riff-raff under current laws that are on the books. Problem solved."