Muzzleloading and reloading sportsmen have always relied on local gun shops and suppliers to purchase blackpowder, smokeless powder, and blackpowder substitutes. However, the recent terrorist activities in Boston have caused some to recommend tight regulation of powder purchases. Although the home-made bombs in Boston used explosive powders from fireworks, this suggested law could have far-reaching consequences to the most primitive of the firearm sportsmen. Outdoor Hub summarizes the current bill and its ramifications:

Heartland Deer, bow, gun, deer drive 165Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced S. 792 late last month, otherwise known as the Explosive Materials Background Check Act. The bill is a response to the Boston Marathon bombing, during which three bystanders lost their lives and dozens more were injured.

“It defies common-sense that anyone, even a terrorist, can walk into a store in America and buy explosive powders without a background check or any questions asked,” Lautenberg said in a statement. “Requiring a background check for an explosives permit is a small price to pay to ensure the safety of our communities.”

The bill would:

•Require a background check to purchase black powder, black powder substitute, or smokeless powder, in any quantity;

Nebraska 14 pt deer 210•Provide the Attorney General with the authority to stop the sale of explosives when a background check reveals that the applicant is a known or suspected terrorist and the Attorney General reasonably believes that the person may use the explosives in connection with terrorism;

•Make it illegal to manufacture homemade explosives without a permit; and

•Direct ATF to conduct a study on the tagging of explosives, particularly black powder, black powder substitute, and smokeless powder, which could enable law enforcement to detect, identify, and trace explosives used in crimes.

Under the current law customers can purchase up to 50 pounds of explosive black powder without a background check, and an unlimited amount of smokeless powder or black powder substitute. If passed…

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.