Pima County to vote on proposed ban on exploding targets - Tucson News Now

Pima County to vote on proposed ban on exploding targets

Explosive target ban for Pima County. (Source: Tucson News Now) Explosive target ban for Pima County. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Pima County is scheduled to vote to ban exploding targets at it's next board meeting Tuesday, July 11.

Under the proposed ban, the sale, possession, or use of an exploding target could be punishable as a class one misdemeanor.

Exploding targets are popular among some enthusiasts as a novelty item. However, they can be dangerous.

In its quest for a ban, the county cites the Sawmill Fire, which burned 46,000 acres and cost $5 million to fight, and was caused by a US Border Patrol agent shooting at an exploding target.

It also cites the case of a man shooting an exploding target in a refrigerator, which also started a fire and endangered bystanders with flying shrapnel.

A house fire, with children in the home at the time, was also started by the mishandling of the device.

These are but a few reasons why the county feels now is the time for a ban, as introduced by District 2 Supervisor Ramone Valadez.

"It's a shame that people's live, people's livelihoods, whose homes were put at risk," Valadez said. "So how do we prevent this from happening again."

Not everyone agrees an outright ban is a good idea however.

Ed Chavez, owner of R & A Tactical on Prince Road said "I think it's an over reaction."

Chavez, who does not sell the devices, believes it is an issue of personal responsibility, not government regulation.

"We just have to have people responsible with it," he said. "They just need to realize it's an explosive, it causes fragmentation, it could cause a fire."

Valadez asked the Pima County Sheriff's Department and County Attorney to find a way to regulate the devices and they agreed a ban was the best alternative.

Valadez agrees it's the best one for the time being.

"If a ban is not the right tool, let's come up with the right tool," he said. "Right now we have to act and we can still prevent the loss of lives and loss of homes and that's our goal."

Because the county did not meet its 30 day deadline for advertising the ordinance, even if it passes, it will not go into effect immediately.

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