Somewhere yesterday I read about people on the no-fly list who can still buy guns. One of these people even bought “100 pounds of high explosive.” That got me thinking. Where does one buy high explosives? What sort of permits would a person in the US or Europe need to buy them? (Are they expensive?)
After all, lots of people legitimately need stuff that goes boom.
I’m not sure how one goes about buying explosives, but I will note that the term “high explosives” include more “mundane” explosives such as dynamite and TNT. The distinction, as I understand it, is that “low explosives” explode by burning very quickly, whereas “high explosives” explode by sending a shock wave through the explosive (which compresses it and causes it to explode.) The technical term for this distinction is deflagration vs. detonation.
I still have no idea where John Q. Six-Pack would obtain 100 pounds of dynamite, though, even if it’s a relatively everyday explosive.
If you go to Google (as I just did), you can find a couple of places on the first results page that will ship you high explosives. According to one of the sites, you need a “federal license” to complete the transaction, but then they’ll ship the stuff to you.
Back to Google. Here’s an application for a BATF Federal Explosives License (pdf).
And here’s something from Washington state about maybe needing a state permit as well.
Hope this helps. I shall now find out if Homeland Security is still monitoring my internet connection
This. There’s no oversight with regard to the no-fly list and no reliable method of redress. There’s all sorts of stupid reasons you can be added to the list including “your name is vaguely similar to someone of interest, no matter if you are a different age (children are on the list!), gender, or location”, “you pissed off someone who works at the airport”, “you are a social activist”, “you wrote a book critical of somebody”, etc.
If gun ownership were based on the same standards, very few people could manage to get guns, and the NRA would start a revolt.
You might try some of the other links on this page for others. Given that one of the links went to “Explosive fitness!” I think that it’s a bit out-of-date (someone else bought the DNS) but I didn’t click more than a few links so that leaves a bit of ground still uncovered.
I don’t know about post-9/11, but we used to buy dynamite from the local hardware store back in Kansas. My uncle and I cleared stumps and rocks on the farm one summer with that stuff. Wasn’t much hassle at all if you own a working farm.
I had a buddy (a Marine, half-crazy gun-owner type) that got together with some friends on a rural farm, they pumped an old abandoned structure full of propane, lined the foundation with a couple propane tanks and then shot them from long range, resulting in a massive explosion that levelled the structure.
They then proceeded to (smartly) put their hijinks up on youtube, which invariably caught the unwanted attention of the ATF and Homeland Security.
Much fun was had by all under questioning.
I still don’t see why an owner of land, with acres and acres cannot on his own decide to blow up some old shack on his property though.