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On Binary Explosive Targets – Maryland Law and Federal Law Differ.


Binary Explosive Targets Banned in Maryland

Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore

Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore

Maryland --( Maryland Law: During the 2012 Session, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation intended to prohibit the sale of so-called binary explosives. When this law takes effect, sale or possession of these products could result in the permanent loss of the defendant’s gun rights.

Senate Bill 421 Public Safety – Explosives – Package of Components reads in part:

For the purpose of altering the definition of “explosives” to include two or more components that are advertised and sold together with instructions on how to combine the components to create a certain explosive and generally relating to explosives.

BY repealing and reenacting, with amendments,



AnnotatedCode of Maryland


“Explosives” includes:

(I) bombs and destructive devices designed to operate by chemical,mechanical, or explosive action; AND


Senate Bill 421 will become effective on October 1, 2012. Violation of this new law is a misdemeanor subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $5000 or both.

Click here for SB 421.

ATF on Federal Law:

ATF has recently received inquiries about the applicability of the Federal explosives law to binary exploding targets. The components of these binary targets (typically an oxidizer like ammonium nitrate and a fuel such as aluminum or another metal based powder) are not separately listed on the List of Explosive Materials and do not meet the definition of “Explosives” in 27 CFR 555.11. Therefore, ATF does not regulate the sale and distribution of these component chemicals, even when sold together in binary target “kits.”

However, when the binary components are combined, the resulting mixture is an explosive material subject to all requirements of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 40 and 27 CFR Part 555. Accordingly, all such exploding targets must be stored in an explosives storage magazine as prescribed in the regulations found in 27 CFR, Part 555, Subpart K-Storage, unless they are in the process of being used.

Further, mixing the binary components together constitutes manufacturing explosives. Persons manufacturing explosives for their own personal, non-business use only (e.g., personal target practice) are not required to have a Federal explosives license or permit. However, individuals or companies must obtain a Federal explosives manufacturing license if they intend to engage in the business of manufacturing explosives for sale or distribution, or for their own business use. Such business uses include manufacturing binary targets for demonstration or product testing purposes.

Licensed manufacturers of exploding targets are subject to Federal record keeping requirements and must comply with regulations concerning records of manufacture or acquisition, distribution, exportation, use, inventory and daily summaries of magazine transactions found in 27
CFR, Part 555, Subpart G-Records and Reports.

In addition, a Federal explosives license or permit is required for the transport of explosive materials. Therefore, a person must obtain a Federal explosives license or permit if they mix binary exploding targets and subsequently transport them to a shooting range or to any other location.

For further information, please contact the Explosives Industry Programs Branch at or call 202-648-7120


Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, Inc. (AGC), located in Marriottsville, Maryland. The Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, Inc. was formed on July 1, 1944 when a number of World War II veterans in the Baltimore, Maryland area began looking for a place for recreational and competitive shooting. They organized with several other Baltimore area shooting clubs to form the “AGC” Visit:

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