U.S. Department of Justice
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives
Washington, DC 20226
August 29, 2008
Open Letter to All Federal Explosives Licensees and Federal Explosives Permittees
The purpose of this open letter is to a) help you protect your business premises and inventory in the event of a natural disaster; and b) provide guidance on what to do if your business premises is damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster.
For useful information on planning for a natural disaster, please visit www.ready.gov. The following suggestions are additional voluntary measures you can take:
Preliminary and Voluntary Steps to Prepare for a Pending Natural Disaster:
For pending natural disasters (e.g., flood, forest fire, or hurricane), you should consider contacting your local Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) office and providing the following information:
- Business name, licensed premises address, storage magazine address (including storage magazines used for the temporary relocation of explosives), and Federal explosives license or permit number;
- Emergency contact number; and
- Temporary contact address.
While you are not required to provide this information, it could be extremely useful in the event we need to contact you regarding damage to your business premises and/or inventory. In certain emergency situations, local field supervisors may have the authority to verbally approve certain requests, such as adding a new magazine.
If Explosives Have Been Stolen or Lost:
- If a theft or loss of explosives has occurred, contact your local law enforcement authority and the ATF 24-hour hotline (800-800-3855) within 24 hours of discovery. The hotline will notify the appropriate ATF Field Division, who will coordinate ATF’s field response.
- Do not disturb the scene until law enforcement authorities have completed an assessment of the scene and gathered evidence, if it is determined to be a crime scene.
- Notify ATF of any recovered explosives. If you inaccurately report explosive materials as stolen, it hampers law enforcement’s ability to solve the crime and may jeopardize prosecution.
If Explosives Have Been Damaged:
- If the damaged explosive materials are an immediate threat to public safety, contact your local law enforcement authority and the ATF 24-hour hotline (800-800-3855). The hotline will notify the appropriate ATF Field Division, who will coordinate ATF’s field response to incidents of this type.
- If the damaged explosive materials are not an immediate threat to public safety, contact the manufacturer for instructions on the appropriate means of destruction.
- Contact your local ATF office for any additional guidance they might have.
If ATF-Required Records Have Been Damaged:
Federal explosives licensees and permittees can obtain contact information for their local ATF offices by visiting http://www.atf.gov/contact/field/.
ATF is committed to assisting licensees and permittees comply with the Federal explosives laws. We have always viewed this as a partnership between industry and Government and look forward to continuing this relationship in future years. Thank you for your continued diligence in helping keep America safe.
Carson W. Carroll
(Enforcement Programs and Services)