Exploding Targets Cause Problems For Rogers County Law Enforcement
ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma - A certain type of explosions happen every week in Rogers County and each time, the 911 center lights up with calls from frantic citizens.
The explosions are caused by an exploding target called Tannerite and it's completely legal.
Tannerite was made for people who want to do target shooting, long range with high-velocity rifles so you can see whether you hit the target. Law enforcement said even though it's legal, it's causing a lot of problems.
"It shakes the whole house, it shakes the floor, it shakes the china cabinet, the dishes, it's loud," said Clay, who's a homeowner who lives just outside Oologah.
Clay said someone about 500 yards away routinely shoots Tannerite targets with homes nearby.
"The first time, we all ran out to see what was going on, we couldn't figure it out," Clay said.
Tannerite is two powders that are harmless when separate. When you mix the two together, it becomes explosive.
"It's very stable though," said Rogers County Sheriff's Office Maj. Coy Jenkins.
The sheriff's office demonstrated Tannerite, and far from any homes.
"It's designed to see if you're striking a target, it's not designed to make big explosions and have everybody upset, thinking there's terrorist activity in Rogers County," Jenkins said.
Sometimes, people put Tannerite inside something else to blow it up.
Last year, a man in Georgia put three pounds in an old lawnmower and shot it, and his leg was severed because he was too close when he shot it.
In Oklahoma, a man put Tannerite in an old stove and shot it. The force blew the door off and it killed an 8-year-old boy.
"I think it's ridiculous," Clay said.
Homeowners want it stopped before their homes get damaged.
Law enforcement said every time they run on these calls, it takes them away from real emergencies.
Law enforcement is asking people to limit their use of Tannerite and to use it responsibly.
They also said, even though you won't face criminal charges because it's legal, you can always be sued civilly if you damage someone's property.