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Institute of Makers of Explosives Encourages Congress to Close Explosives Security Gaps

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Contact: Debra S. Satkowiak January 8, 2016
President, IME http://www.ime.org
(202) 809-4765

The Institute of Makers of Explosives Encourages Congress to Close Explosives Security Gaps

The Institute of Makers of Explosives (“IME”) encourages further efforts to close gaps in the Federal explosives laws that could prevent diversion and criminal misuse of commercial explosives. In correspondence to Congress and communications with Federal agencies, IME has asserted that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) should have the authority to deny clearance to individuals applying to be responsible persons or employee possessors on Federal explosives licenses and permits who are listed in the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB).

IME believes that all persons who receive or manufacture explosive materials should be subject to a background check. According to data collected by the U.S. Bomb Data Center (Explosives Incident Report National Summary CY 2013), black powder, smokeless powder and black powder substitutes comprised nearly 40% of main charge materials associated with domestic explosions and bombings between 2010 and 2013. These materials can be purchased over-the-counter with no background check required. Likewise, binary exploding targets are sold online and off-the-shelf without background checks and can be mixed into a high explosives charge without a Federal license to manufacture. ATF should be directed to propose a background check process that causes minimum burden to sporting enthusiasts yet better protects public safety.

IME continues to support ATF’s mission to protect the public from criminal use and insecure storage of explosives materials. Given the recent focus on domestic terrorism and violence in the United States, IME encourages the Administration, Congress and the Justice Department not to lose focus on or divert resources from explosives security and to address gaps that remain in Federal explosives statutes.

IME was founded in 1913 and is the safety and security association for the commercial explosives industry. IME develops best practices and safety and security standards to prevent commercial explosives from being diverted to criminal or terrorist use. IME’s best practices together with regulatory requirements have been so effective in achieving this goal that per the 2013 U.S. Bomb Data Center report, only 1% (approximately) of annual domestic bombings and recoveries involved commercial explosive materials. More information on IME can be found at http://www.IME.org

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