The Corner

Senator to Introduce Legislation Requiring Background Checks for Sale of Explosive Powder

As a result of Monday’s bombing in Boston, New Jersey senator Frank Lautenberg will introduce legislation requiring background checks for the sale of explosive powder. Lautenberg is also filing the bill as an amendment to the gun legislation currently being debated on the Senate floor. 

“It is outrageous that anyone, even a known terrorist, can walk into a store in America and buy explosives without any questions asked,” Lautenberg said in a statement earlier today. “If we are serious about public safety, we must put these common-sense safeguards in place. While the police have not revealed what specific explosive materials were used in Boston, what we do know is that explosive powder is too easy to anonymously purchase across the country.”

Americans can currently buy up to 50 pounds of explosive “black powder” and unlimited amounts of smokeless powder without submitting to a background check. Lautenberg’s measure would require them for all such purchases, allow the attorney general to stop a sale if a background check reveals the potential purchaser is a suspected terrorist, and make it illegal to assemble homemade explosives without a permit. 

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