NBC Is Getting Sued After ‘Today’ Show Calls Rifle Targets By an ‘Explosively’ Inaccurate Name


One of the nation’s top producers of exploding targets, Tannerite, has filed a lawsuit against NBC and one of its affiliates for libel and slander. The network ran an investigative report suggesting that Tannerite’s product is dangerous, and that it shouldn’t be sold on the open market.

According to Bearing Arms, the “TODAY” show national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen turned in a story on Tannerite explosive targets on March 23rd. The segment, which was accompanied by a story on a network website, makes a number of claims which the company says are untrue.

Even Rossen’s tweets previewing last week’s segment seem to suggest something’s amiss with his report:

Lexington, Ky.-based WLEX-TV, an NBC affiliate, also ran a version of the story on its website, but it’s since been taken down. The station has been named as a party in the lawsuit alongside NBC.

Among the claims mentioned in the lawsuit:

  • That Tannerite’s rifle targets are “bombs for sale”
  • Rossen’s claim that “I am basically holding a bomb in my hand
  • That a bomb is a weapon which is illegal to make in the United States; and
  • That federal guidelines allow consumers to mix and shoot Tannerite’s rifle targets for personal, noncommercial use as targets.

Mendelsohn, Drucker, & Dunleavy, P.C., the firm representing Tannerite Sports in the suit, released a statement Monday regarding the filing:

“Our client, Tannerite Sports, LLC has been publicly defamed by the false and misleading statements in the NBC news piece and the follow-up story by WLEX Communications, LLC. The news piece asserts that Tannerite®-brand targets are too dangerous to sell to ordinary consumers. To the contrary, Tannerite®-brand targets have been safely used for years.”

According to The Washington Examiner, Tannerite Sports is seeking more than $75,000 in damages from the network and its station. The company claims that it has been harmed economically as a result of the reports.

Tannerite, which can be purchased at most sporting goods stores and online, is a non-flammable, non-incendiary target mixture made from ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder. It will only explode if set off by a high velocity rifle bullet moving in excess of 2,000 feet-per-second, and forms a cloud of water vapor upon impact.

Tannerite Explosive Targets facebook

Image Caption: Facebook

The targets, along with other similar explosive targets, were banned in the state of Maryland in 2014.


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