File this one under the “What Gives?” chapter of Maine law. Here in the Pine Tree State, you can walk into your favorite sporting goods store, pick up a couple of the exploding rifle targets known by the trade name Tannerite and take them home. That’s all perfectly legal.
Now, say you want to use your new acquisition. After all, why buy an exploding target unless you actually get to watch it explode? But here’s where the problem lies: make it go boom and you might get busted.
As reported on this site, a Bar Harbor man was given an oral warning for making explosives after a police officer, state fire marshal and United States Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent paid a visit to his home in December following reports that he had been shooting at the exploding targets.
Once the catalyst, which is included in the Tannerite kit, is mixed in, the targets are considered explosives and are regulated as such. In Maine, a person may not use, possess or store explosives without proper permits. Didn’t realize you needed a permit? Oops.
Firing at exploding targets isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time and there are plenty of places where it shouldn’t be done because of noise and safety concerns. That being said, it just doesn’t make sense that a Mainer can legally buy, sell and possess a product but not use it.