The Pickens County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents to be very careful when using a new shooting target that is now on the market.
Officials say they have had an increasing number of people fire upon “exploding targets” recently, causing loud noises to echo across local communities. While the product is legal, Assistant Pickens County Sheriff Tim Morgan says it could cause other problems.
“As long as the product is used as the manufacturer says it should be used, it’s legal,” said Morgan. “I’m sure it’s a nuisance to those that live nearby.”
The target is installed with a flammable core that ignites when a bullet creates impact. Residents have reported hearing explosions more than a mile away, but Morgan says residents have been pretty compliant so far.
“We’ve had a few different complaints from a couple of different areas,” said Morgan. “I can’t recall any within the last couple of weeks, but we go out and try to negotiate with the people that are using them. So far we’ve been successful in doing that.”
A fine line does exist, however, and Morgan says tampering with the product put safety at risk.
“When it’s not used in any manor other than what is suggested or recommended by the manufacturer, it is an illegal item,” he said.
Morgan says combining targets to create bigger explosions puts more than just the shooter’s life at risk.
“Some people will take several containers and poor them into one,” said Morgan. “That’s illegal and could fall under the bomb-making statute.
Shooters could also be in danger of breaking other laws as well.
“Depending on where you use it and the time of day, it could fall under breach of peace,” said Morgan. “If you’re setting off some exploding targets, and it’s at a time where people have expectations of restful sleep or peace and quiet it could be used as breach of peace.
While it is a new concern, Morgan says he does not see it getting out of hand.
“So far people have complied with our requests,” he said.