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Anti-Arson Act of 1982: Hearing Before the House Subcommittee on Crime, May 19, 1982

NCJ Number
Date Published
79 pages
Senator John Glenn and representatives from the U.S. Treasury Department and the American Insurance Association testify before the House Subcommittee on Crime on H.R. 6377 and H.R. 6454, which clarify the applicability of offenses involving explosives and fire.
Federal arson jurisdiction currently extends over the damage or destruction of property by means of an explosive. Some courts have ruled that fires started by means of flammable liquids such as gasoline and kerosene do not involve an explosive device. The proposed bills eliminate the distinction between explosives and other incendiary means of starting fires. The bill makes arson a Federal crime when it involves property used in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or Federal property. Witnesses support the bills, with recommendations for a change in some of the wording. Current wording requires that the arson or attempted arson must actually or potentially 'substantially' damage or destroy the property covered by the legislation. A number of witnesses recommend that the term 'substantially' be removed due to its vagueness and ambiguity. An arson incidence insurance claims study is included.


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