State of Illinois
90th General Assembly

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 1                          HOUSE RESOLUTION
 2        WHEREAS, Technology is available to  safely  produce  and
 3    use tiny, color-coded plastic tracer chips called "taggants";
 4    and
 5        WHEREAS,  When  mixed into explosive materials during the
 6    manufacturing process, these taggants may enable authorities,
 7    following a detonation, to  trace  the  type  and  source  of
 8    explosives used by criminals; and
 9        WHEREAS,  This  nation  has been gravely affected by such
10    heinous crimes as the 1989 mail bombing deaths of  a  Federal
11    Appellate  Court  Judge  in  Atlanta  and  a City Alderman in
12    Savannah, Georgia, and the 14 explosive devices delivered  by
13    the Unibomber; and
14        WHEREAS,  The  nation  has  also  been jolted by criminal
15    bombings of the World Trade  Center  in  1993,  the  Oklahoma
16    Federal  Building  in 1995, and the Olympic Games' Centennial
17    Park in 1996; and
18        WHEREAS, All of these bombings involved explosives  which
19    could  have  included  taggants to help authorities determine
20    the type and source of explosive materials used; and
21        WHEREAS, There have been prior Congressional attempts  to
22    facilitate  investigations  of  such  bombings,  but  several
23    interest   groups,  including  the  Institute  of  Makers  of
24    Explosives,  the  National   Rifle   Association,   and   the
25    Fertilizer  Institute,  have not favored requirement of these
26    identifiable color coded chips in some  explosive  materials,
27    citing either cost factors or predicting a subtle form of gun
28    registration  if  legislation  were  to  require  taggants in
29    gunpowder; and
30        WHEREAS, Legislation was enacted  by  the  United  States
31    Congress  and  signed into law by the President of the United
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 1    States on April 24, 1996 as Public Law 104-132; and
 2        WHEREAS, This Act requires  the  United  States  Treasury
 3    Secretary  to  complete  a  study  by  April  1997 on tagging
 4    explosive materials for identification purposes; and
 5        WHEREAS, The Act provides that within 30 days  after  the
 6    study's  completion,  the  Treasury  Secretary must submit to
 7    Congress all of the following: (i) the results of the  study,
 8    (ii)  legislative  recommendations, and (iii) the opinions of
 9    fertilizer research centers; and
10        WHEREAS, The Act requires  that  Congress  hold  hearings
11    within   90   days   from  the  submission  of  the  Treasury
12    Secretary's report; and
13        WHEREAS, The Act authorizes, but does  not  require,  the
14    Secretary  to  submit  draft  regulations for the addition of
15    tracers or taggants to explosives manufactured in or imported
16    into the United States; and
17        WHEREAS, The Act only authorizes the Secretary to propose
18    these draft regulations  if  his  or  her  study  finds  that
19    tracers  meet all 5 of the following conditions: (1) taggants
20    pose no safety hazard, (2) taggants substantially assist  law
21    enforcement,  (3)  taggants do not impair the explosives, (4)
22    taggants do not adversely affect the environment, and (5) the
23    costs of adding taggants does not outweigh  the  benefits  of
24    their inclusion; and
25        WHEREAS,  The  Act grants Congress the authority to amend
26    or veto any regulation that may be issued within the 270 days
27    after it is sent to Congress for review; and
28        WHEREAS, These restrictions in the Act place  significant
29    hurdles in the path of detecting terrorists and criminals who
30    detonate bombs; and
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 1        WHEREAS,  Notwithstanding  these hurdles and restrictions
 2    imposed by Congress, the Act specifically  excludes  studying
 3    insertion  of  identification taggants in black and smokeless
 4    powder and specifically prohibits the Treasury Secretary from
 5    issuing regulations requiring insertion of taggants in  black
 6    and smokeless power; therefore, be it
 9    memorialize  the  United States Congress to adopt legislation
10    mandating inclusion of tracers in black and smokeless  powder
11    as well as in such other explosive materials as the Secretary
12    of  the  Treasury in his or her discretion designates; and be
13    it further
14        RESOLVED, That we  memorialize  Congress  to  apply  this
15    mandate  to  explosives  manufactured in or imported into the
16    United States and memorialize Congress to cause this  mandate
17    to  become  effective 60 days after new legislation is signed
18    by the President; and be it further
19        RESOLVED,  That  we  memorialize   Congress   to   repeal
20    provisions  in  the  Act  which state, that after studies are
21    complete,  the  Treasury  Secretary  cannot  propose  taggant
22    regulations  unless  he  or  she  makes  the  five  specified
23    findings; and be it further
24        RESOLVED,  That   we   memorialize   Congress   to   pass
25    legislation  stating  that  the  Treasury Secretary may delay
26    mandatory insertion of tracers into any explosive material if
27    he or she makes an  affirmative  finding  with  regard  to  a
28    specific  explosive material that tracers pose a safety risk,
29    obstruct law enforcement, have substantial adverse effects on
30    the environment, or cost more  than  the  benefits  of  their
31    inclusion; and be it further
32        RESOLVED,  That  suitable  copies  of  this resolution be
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 1    delivered to the President pro tempore and Minority Leader of
 2    the United States Senate, the Speaker and Minority Leader  of
 3    the United States House of Representatives,  the Secretary of
 4    the Treasury, the President of the United States, and to each
 5    member of the Illinois congressional delegation.

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