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View Full Version : Thermite Grenades, CA legal?


lehn20
11-14-2008, 6:56 PM
Did a search, couldn't find anything.

Are they CA legal or do they fall under some destructive device clause?.

Saigon1965
11-14-2008, 6:57 PM
The name alone sounds illegal -

sorensen440
11-14-2008, 6:59 PM
I am 99.9 percent sure they are illegal

Gotta ask though why do you want to know??

sorensen440
11-14-2008, 7:03 PM
illegal

I thought so at first too but I have yet to find confirmation
can you cite the code?

Harrison_Bergeron
11-14-2008, 7:15 PM
Thermite (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermite) is real, it was the plasma aspect of "The Rock" that was fictional.

I remember in "The Rock" ordinance full of Thermite plasma were to be dropped onto Alcatraz as a countermeasure to the VX nerve gas the bad guys were gonna unleash.Something about it burning really hot and neutralizing the gas.That's the only place I've heard of it.

sorensen440
11-14-2008, 7:17 PM
453 PC incendiary device
12301(a)(4) deals with incendiary material in a grenade or rocket.

If it's fun and dangerous then it's illegal.


My understanding reading this is there must be intent
453 PC
(a) Every person who possesses, manufactures, or disposes of
any flammable, or combustible material or substance, or any
incendiary device in an arrangement or preparation, with intent to
willfully and maliciously use this material, substance, or device to
set fire to or burn any structure, forest land, or property, shall be
punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail,
not exceeding one year.
(b) For the purposes of this section:
(1) "Disposes of" means to give, give away, loan, offer, offer for
sale, sell, or transfer.
(2) "Incendiary device" means a device that is constructed or
designed to start an incendiary fire by remote, delayed, or instant
means, but no device commercially manufactured primarily for the
purpose of illumination shall be deemed to be an incendiary device
for the purposes of this section.
(3) "Incendiary fire" means a fire that is deliberately ignited
under circumstances in which a person knows that the fire should not
be ignited.
(c) Subdivision (a) does not prohibit the authorized use or
possession of any material, substance or device described therein by
a member of the armed forces of the United States or by firemen,
police officers, peace officers, or law enforcement officers
authorized by the properly constituted authorities;nor does that
subdivision prohibit the use or possession of any material, substance
or device described therein when used solely for scientific research
or educational purposes, or for disposal of brush under permit as
provided for in Section 4494 of the Public Resources Code, or for any
other lawful burning. Subdivision (a) does not prohibit the
manufacture or disposal of an incendiary device for the parties or
purposes described in this subdivision.

moulton
11-14-2008, 7:19 PM
I remember in "The Rock" ordinance full of Thermite plasma were to be dropped onto Alcatraz as a countermeasure to the VX nerve gas the bad guys were gonna unleash.Something about it burning really hot and neutralizing the gas.That's the only place I've heard of it.

I have no experience burning holes in concrete with thermite :o;)......

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sorensen440
11-14-2008, 7:35 PM
12301. (a) The term "destructive device," as used in this chapter,
shall include any of the following weapons:
(1) Any projectile containing any explosive or incendiary material
or any other chemical substance, including, but not limited to, that
which is commonly known as tracer or incendiary ammunition, except
tracer ammunition manufactured for use in shotguns.
(2) Any bomb, grenade, explosive missile, or similar device or any
launching device therefor. (3) Any weapon of a caliber greater than 0.60 caliber which fires
fixed ammunition, or any ammunition therefor, other than a shotgun
(smooth or rifled bore) conforming to the definition of a
"destructive device" found in subsection (b) of Section 479.11 of
Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations, shotgun ammunition
(single projectile or shot), antique rifle, or an antique cannon.
For purposes of this section, the term "antique cannon" means any
cannon manufactured before January 1, 1899, which has been rendered
incapable of firing or for which ammunition is no longer manufactured
in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary
channels of commercial trade. The term "antique rifle" means a
firearm conforming to the definition of an "antique firearm" in
Section 479.11 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(4) Any rocket, rocket-propelled projectile, or similar device of
a diameter greater than 0.60 inch, or any launching device therefor,
and any rocket, rocket-propelled projectile, or similar device
containing any explosive or incendiary material or any other chemical
substance, other than the propellant for that device, except those
devices as are designed primarily for emergency or distress signaling
purposes.
(5) Any breakable container which contains a flammable liquid with
a flashpoint of 150 degrees Fahrenheit or less and has a wick or
similar device capable of being ignited, other than a device which is
commercially manufactured primarily for the purpose of illumination.

(6) Any sealed device containing dry ice (CO2) or other chemically
reactive substances assembled for the purpose of causing an
explosion by a chemical reaction.
(b) The term "explosive," as used in this chapter, shall mean any
explosive defined in Section 12000 of the Health and Safety Code.

feel free to ride the line.

Thermite is not explosive though and as long as you dont make a rocket with it this law doesnt apply either
I'm not trying to be argumentative here but it would seem it is legal

CavTrooper
11-14-2008, 7:37 PM
The name is offensive.

Or...

Arrest em all, let the DA sort em out!!!

Librarian
11-14-2008, 9:12 PM
Thermite is not explosive though and as long as you dont make a rocket with it this law doesnt apply either
I'm not trying to be argumentative here but it would seem it is legalStill not sure if it's legal - but it's arguably incendiary, even if not explosive.

sorensen440
11-14-2008, 9:38 PM
Still not sure if it's legal - but it's arguably incendiary, even if not explosive.

Agreed but if you dont make a rocket you should be fine no ?

sorensen440
11-14-2008, 9:41 PM
I'm not saying that they are legal Im just no longer sure they arent
also it would be unwise regardless to make thermite grenades
now playing with thermite is another subject that sounds like alot of fun to me

BigDogatPlay
11-14-2008, 10:51 PM
Just my opinion but if you get caught with a container of homemade thermite that could even remotely be construed to be used as a weapon, then you are very likely going to take a felony pinch for possession of a destructive device if someone figures out what the stuff in the container is. Way too many nervous people in the civil service to let stuff like that slide. 4445 of the Public Resources Code is the only statutory law in CA that mentions thermite by name as an incendiary, although this section requires it to be loaded into ammo and fired from a rifle or any launching device. This is the same section that prohibits use of tracer ammunition in any forested, grassy, brushy or grain covered area.

You might ultimately be found innocent at trial, but why take a chance? You could call the bomb squad and ask, but they'd want to come over to give you their answer.

:D

lehn20
11-14-2008, 10:58 PM
Well it is not really a "grenade". It just burns at a high tempurature. There is no explosion, so to speak.

Thermite can really come in handy for certain jobs. I just wanna know if they are legal to "own/posses" in CA.

I am sure even if they are "legal" to own, you might still have a hard time finding anyone who wants to sell you some.

And of course usage is a different beast in its own.

I have seen them used overseas making cars and other things inoperable with great results.

Librarian
11-14-2008, 11:10 PM
Agreed but if you dont make a rocket you should be fine no ?

Depends on how silly LEO wants to be about "similar device", I think. One might accuse the possessor of the PC 453 "possesses ... with intent to willfully and maliciously use".

It's probably a "destructive device" in the PC 12301 (a) (2) sense. That's "any" grenade, not just grenades from launchers.

Seems to be one of those "I can't find exactly where it's prohibited but it just looks wrong" things. UOC and loaded magazines are also in that category, which we know can lead to errors.

Meplat
11-14-2008, 11:10 PM
Are smoke grenades, the kind the military uses, legal?

prc104
11-14-2008, 11:15 PM
You can research cadweld. My electrical guy uses it quite a bit.

Makes for quite a show when they set it off.

You can get it at most commercial electrical places.

-S

dwa
11-14-2008, 11:16 PM
im fairly certain it is legal but im no lawyer. i would be care to not package it any way shape or form that seems like its some kind of grenade, rocket, fun thing.

CHS
11-14-2008, 11:51 PM
I think the most important question here is:

Where are you getting these thermite grenades and for how much?

Group buy? :)

Jpach
11-14-2008, 11:59 PM
Im in for at least 3, depending on how much we can get em

lehn20
11-15-2008, 2:04 AM
OK, lets call it a Thermite Cannister then:)

They look just like the "Smokes".

http://www.alstechnologies.com/index.php?page=thermite-demo

ALS will be making these. First run is for MIL/LEO, then afterwards, for people who "needs" them.

lehn20
11-15-2008, 2:24 AM
http://www.answers.com/topic/thermite

MrSigmaDOT40
11-15-2008, 2:30 AM
You guys do realize that Thermate/Thermite is the stuff reportedly used here:

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For Comparison here is Thermate/Thermite burning through an engine block in a demonstration (at about 1:41):

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Rob454
11-15-2008, 6:42 AM
Did a search, couldn't find anything.

Are they CA legal or do they fall under some destructive device clause?.


If youre talking about REAL thermite grenades/ white phosphorous theire considered Incendiary device. and no its not legal ANYWHERE its not even a LEO item. its strictly military. that stuff will burn through a engine block and once its started you cant put it out with conventional means.

Max-the-Silent
11-15-2008, 7:08 AM
Any type of live military munition ( as opposed to ammunition) is illegal to possess under federal law.

Under state law, a Thermite grenade would be considered an Incendiary Device, and would be illegal under PC 453.

scr83jp
11-15-2008, 7:21 AM
USAF basic training in 1952 included a demonstration about the use of thermite on an engine block to disable vehicles if over run in combat zones and how to use det cord .The instructor wrapped det cord around a gallon can of gas & touched it off ,needless to say, it was impressive.

westcoastr
11-15-2008, 9:47 AM
USAF basic training in 1952 included a demonstration about the use of thermite on an engine block to disable vehicles if over run in combat zones and how to use det cord .The instructor wrapped det cord around a gallon can of gas & touched it off ,needless to say, it was impressive.

thermite is a reaction between aluminum and typically iron oxide (i.e. "rust") than can reach extremely high temperatures (4-5K deg F). it is not typically explosive and the main civilian use is for welding very thick pieces of steel together. I ran a reaction in advanced high school chemistry class so I doubt it is illegal when used in this capacity. if it is modified to explode or intended for harm I'm pretty sure the jury would convict.

if has nothing to do with a can gasoline, unless the resulting fire was able to initiate a thermite reaction between the aluminim head and the steel engine block. the engine would have already been destroyed.

Meplat
11-15-2008, 2:15 PM
Thermite and WP are not the same thing.;)


If youre talking about REAL thermite grenades/ white phosphorous theire considered Incendiary device. and no its not legal ANYWHERE its not even a LEO item. its strictly military. that stuff will burn through a engine block and once its started you cant put it out with conventional means.

yellowfin
11-15-2008, 6:10 PM
Maybe tell them you're using it to destroy a pile of guns with and they'll be ok with it. The way they are around here, they might even give you one.

N6ATF
11-15-2008, 11:51 PM
Whatever you do, don't tell them... it's for THE MACHINES.

Solidsnake87
11-16-2008, 10:20 AM
Let me think for a second here, um....Duh???? I'm a CE major. If we have to have professional liscenced demo teams to take down building with commercial explosive, then you can bet a grenade capable of melting through steel is a destructive device.

sorensen440
11-17-2008, 2:06 PM
Let me think for a second here, um....Duh???? I'm a CE major. If we have to have professional liscenced demo teams to take down building with commercial explosive, then you can bet a grenade capable of melting through steel is a destructive device.

really?
prove it with a cite please

sorensen440
11-17-2008, 2:09 PM
Any type of live military munition ( as opposed to ammunition) is illegal to possess under federal law.

Under state law, a Thermite grenade would be considered an Incendiary Device, and would be illegal under PC 453.

I think you need to go back and re-read 453
453 PC
(a) Every person who possesses, manufactures, or disposes of
any flammable, or combustible material or substance, or any
incendiary device in an arrangement or preparation, with intent to
willfully and maliciously use this material, substance, or device to
set fire to or burn any structure, forest land, or property, shall be
punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail,
not exceeding one year.
(b) For the purposes of this section:
(1) "Disposes of" means to give, give away, loan, offer, offer for
sale, sell, or transfer.
(2) "Incendiary device" means a device that is constructed or
designed to start an incendiary fire by remote, delayed, or instant
means, but no device commercially manufactured primarily for the
purpose of illumination shall be deemed to be an incendiary device
for the purposes of this section.
(3) "Incendiary fire" means a fire that is deliberately ignited
under circumstances in which a person knows that the fire should not
be ignited.
(c) Subdivision (a) does not prohibit the authorized use or
possession of any material, substance or device described therein by
a member of the armed forces of the United States or by firemen,
police officers, peace officers, or law enforcement officers
authorized by the properly constituted authorities;nor does that
subdivision prohibit the use or possession of any material, substance
or device described therein when used solely for scientific research
or educational purposes, or for disposal of brush under permit as
provided for in Section 4494 of the Public Resources Code, or for any
other lawful burning. Subdivision (a) does not prohibit the
manufacture or disposal of an incendiary device for the parties or
purposes described in this subdivision.

lehn20
11-17-2008, 10:54 PM
I guess the easiest way is for me to call ALS and see if they will sell it to me:)