Issue Date: April 2, 2007
Bill would regulate ammonium nitrate
Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), the panel's ranking member, have joined with several other committee members to introduce a bill that gives the Department of Homeland Security the authority to regulate the sale and purchase of ammonium nitrate. The aim of the bill is to prevent terrorists from getting hold of the fertilizer while allowing its continuous availability for agricultural uses. The bill was prompted by the use of the fertilizer as a bomb in 1995 that destroyed a federal building in Oklahoma City and killed hundreds. The bill would allow DHS to be informed of suspicious ammonium nitrate purchases and purchase patterns and would create a paper trail for crimes involving purchases of the fertilizer that would aid counterterrorism efforts. A similar bill introduced in the last Congress failed to pass.
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