Exploding Targets a Felony in Hanover County

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Months after mysterious booms rocked neighbors in Hanover County, authorities are warning residents that the use of explosive devices is a felony.

The Hanover County Sheriff’s Office figured out those booms were coming from explosive containers used for target practice. The ingredients are legal, but authorities say it is illegal to combine those ingredients to make an explosive.

Back in March, a loud boom shook one Hanover County neighborhood, leaving many wondering what exactly made the noise. It turns out it was an explosive target that went off. Gwen Townsend was in her garden when the loud noise caught her off guard.

“The noise was so loud, I just felt like a house had blown up. It was like being in a battle zone” she said. “Frightening. If I were a little bit older than what I am, I could’ve had a heart attack.”

“It actually made the windows rattle on houses and you could hear it probably a quarter of a mile away,” said resident Gary Lewis. “It will startle you, especially if you’re not expecting anything like that. It was pretty loud.”

The ingredients are sold separately and legally in plenty of stores, but when mixed together, they can become an explosive combination, which Hanover County authorities say is illegal.

“When they are combined, that is what has been determined to be illegal by the Hanover County Commonwealth Attorney’s office,” said Lieutenant Chris Whitley.

Lieutenant Whitley says no one has been charged yet, hoping to get the message out first, but he says those who don’t heed the warnings could face felony charges.

Meanwhile, neighbors say they’re happy the sheriff’s office is sending out the warning.

“I like to target shoot; I shoot a lot myself. But I don’t see the purpose in the target bombs,” Lewis said.

Back in January, there were complaints of exploding targets in the Chesterfield County area. At the time, police there said it was not against the law.



Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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