‘Explosions’ once again new louder targets, police say

‘Perfectly legal,’ Tannerite cause of calls

A social media-fueled flurry of calls Saturday evening led to more than 50 calls for police asking about “explosions” heard around Rockdale.

While there were more exotic explanations available throughout Rockdale, the sound turned out to have been the same thing that propelled a previous flurry of concern last fall, legal exploding targets.

The targets, commonly referred to by the brand name Tannerite, have recently become a fad for shooters and that’s what all the Saturday calls were, according to Lt. J. D. Newlin.

“Not only is there nothing illegal about using these targets, all of the use was outside the Rockdale city limits, although quite close, and the persons using them alerted law enforcement that they were going to be doing it,” Lt. J. D. Newlin said.

During the fall and summer, similar calls of explosions sent sheriff’s deputies to locations south of Rockdale.

TANNERITE—Tannerite is a legal substance sold at some gun stores. It explodes on impact, as when hit by a bullet, and is primarily used as a target to give target shooters something extra.

“It is not classified as a bomb or an illegal substance,” Newlin said. “You can even buy it at places like Academy.”

Tannerite is a combination of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder that is supplied as two separate powders which are mixed and shaken to produce the explosive.

Tannerite is intended to detonate when shot by a high-velocity firearm cartridge.

According to manufacturers of the product, low-velocity shotgun, handgun or rifle ammunition will not initiate a detonation.

“I believe you can even throw it on the ground and nothing will happen,” Newlin said. “It won’t detonate unless it’s hit by a high-velocity bullet. Of course, it sure is loud.”

ROBBERY–Rockdale police played a major role in apprehanding a local man accused of an armed holdup at Thorndale Dollar General. (See page 1A).

OFFENSES—Police made two arrests for hindering secured creditor ($500 to $1,500) after payments were missed in rental of electronics equipment from Aaron’s during the past week.

Police said a criminal mischief report involved a broken window.

Two thefts were reported, one involving stolen batteries and the other a gas drive-off.

Other incidents investigated by police during the week included five of driving while license invalid and one each for failure to maintain financial resolution, driving without a license and possession of an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle.

ACCIDENTS—No accidents inside the Rockdale city limits were reported to police during the past week and the Department of Public Safety did not list any rural accidents on Rockdale-area roads.

WARRANTS—Police served four warrants during the past seven days, two for driving while license invalid and one warrant each for expired registration and failure to maintain financial responsibility.

CITATIONS—Traffic tickets issued during the week included 44 for speeding, four each for expired registration and expired motor vehicle inspection sticker, three for expired driver’s license, two for failure to maintain financial resolution and one each for failure to change address on driver’s license, possession of alcohol in a motor vehicle and unsafe start from parked position.

SERVICE CALLS—Officers responded to 138 calls for service during the past week, and 109 calls were received through the 911 system.

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