ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

ATF
Ruling 2002-3

18 U.S.C. 842(j):
STORAGE OF EXPLOSIVES

27 CFR 55.208(b)(1), 55.210(b)(1), and 55.211(b)(1): INDOOR STORAGE OF
EXPLOSIVES IN A RESIDENCE OR DWELLING

ATF will approve
variances to store explosives in a residence or dwelling only upon certain
conditions including, but not limited to, receipt of a certification of
compliance with State and local law, and documentation that local fire
safety officials have received a copy of the certification
.

ATF Rul. 2002-3

The Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has received questions concerning indoor storage
of explosives in a residence or dwelling and whether such storage must
comply with State or local law.

Section 842(j) of
18 U.S.C. states: "It shall be unlawful for any person to store any
explosive material in a manner not in conformity with regulations promulgated
by the Secretary."

The regulations in
27 CFR 55.208(b)(1), 55.210(b)(1), and 55.211(b)(1) specify that no indoor
magazine is to be located in a residence or dwelling. Section 55.22 specifies
that the Director may allow alternate methods or procedures in lieu of
a method or procedure specifically prescribed in the regulations. Specifically,
section 55.22(a)(3) provides that such "variances" are permissible
only in certain circumstances, including where "[t]he alternate method
or procedure will not be contrary to any provision of law and will not
. . . hinder the effective administration of this part."

ATF has been advised
that certain variances previously approved for storage of explosives in
residences or dwellings are in violation of State or local zoning law.
ATF believes it is important to ensure that approval of variances is in
compliance with all State and local provisions.

To obtain a variance
for indoor storage of explosives in a residence or dwelling, ATF has determined
that a person must submit to ATF a certification signed under penalty
of perjury along with the request for the variance. The certification
must:

  1. State that the
    proposed alternative storage method will comply with all applicable
    State and local law;

  2. Provide the name,
    title, address, and phone number of the authority having jurisdiction
    for fire safety of the locality in which the explosive materials are
    being stored; and,

  3. Demonstrate that
    the person has mailed or delivered the certification to the authority
    identified in (2).

When required by
the Director, such persons must furnish other documentation as may be
necessary to determine whether a variance should be approved.

Held, ATF will
approve variances to store explosives in a residence or dwelling only
upon certain conditions including, but not limited to, receipt of a certification
of compliance with State and local law, and documentation that local fire
safety officials have received a copy of the certification.

Date signed: August
23, 2002