and a strong focus on bombing prevention technologies rather than explosive tagging methods. Concerns included safety, cost, possible deleterious effects on firearms, and the usefulness of taggants in law enforcement.

Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute

James J. Baker, Donald H. Burton, and Kenneth Green presented the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute viewpoint19 on the use of taggants in black and smokeless powders, including concerns about the possible effects of taggants on safety, the manufacturing process, distribution, ballistic performance, and cost-effectiveness.

The Fertilizer Institute

Gary Myers, president, and Ford West, vice president, presented the views of the Fertilizer Institute. They also discussed "Be Aware for America"—a cooperative industry program to encourage reporting of suspicious sales of fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate.20


Viewed collectively, the various concerns of stakeholders can be grouped as follows:

  • Potential for adverse environmental effects from widespread use of taggants;

  • Lack of or minimal additional usefulness of taggants for law enforcement;

  • Safety risks due to incompatibilities between taggants and explosives;

  • Significant cost impacts on tagged explosives and resultant loss of commercial competitiveness;

  • Contamination of mined products following blasting, necessitating additional purification steps or rejection of products; and

  • Record-keeping burden and distribution requirements.


 Written testimony provided by James J. Baker, Donald H. Burton, and Kenneth Green, Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute, January 14, 1997.


 The program and publicity materials were developed collaboratively in 1995 and are described in a brochure, "Be Aware for America: 1995," developed by the Fertilizer Institute; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; the Association of American Plant Food Officials; and the Agricultural Retailers Association.

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