The U.S. Forest Service has officially banned exploding targets in Montana, along with northern Idaho, North Dakota and portions of South Dakota due to “wildfire and public safety concerns”, according to a recent article on idahostatesman.com. This means that exploding targets are prohibited on national forest lands.
According to the Forest Service, within the last two years, exploding targets have been the cause of a minimum of 16 wildfires in the western US, and agency officials also “have concerns that the explosions launch debris that can injure bystanders”.
You may want to think again if you plan on ignoring this new law, as the penalty for using banned targets is paying a fine up to $5,000 and spending six months in jail. Specifically, this latest order is in effect for all 12 national forests and grasslands in the agency’s Northern Region.
“We want to eliminate as much as possible those human-caused wildfires,” Sammon said. “The fact that we have the closure order is an indication that (exploding targets) are being used more, getting to the point we need to take this step.”
An order last year banned exploding targets on the remaining Forest Service land in South Dakota, and managers in the Intermountain Region are currently considering a ban on exploding targets in the southern half of Idaho, Utah, Nevada and portions of western Wyoming.
Does this affect your shooting? Let us know.
(Original article via idahostatesman.com; Feature photo via recoilweb.com)