Explosives

Image of an explosion in an open mine

Federal Explosives Licensees

Explosives industry members play an integral role in maintaining and improving our quality of life in the United States and work to bring countless benefits to our everyday lives in areas such as mining, oil and gas exploration; demolition; avalanche control; and the use of explosives in special industrial tools, fire extinguishers, air bag inflators, fireworks; and special effects in the entertainment industry. However, because of the potential misuse of explosive materials, ATF’s role plays a vital role in regulating and educating the explosives industry and in protecting the public from inadequate storage and security.

The Bureau and Law Enforcement

Federal explosives law and regulations affect all persons who import, manufacture, deal in, purchase, use, store, or possess explosive materials. They also affect those who ship, transport, cause to be transported, or receive explosive materials. ATF plays a vital role in regulating and educating the explosives industry, and in protecting the public from inadequate storage and security.

Explosive materials are any chemical compound, mixture, or device, the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion. The term includes, but is not limited to, dynamite and other high explosives, black powder, pellet powder, initiating explosives, detonators, safety fuses, squibs, detonating cord, igniter cord, and igniters.

Persons who manufacture explosives for their personal, non-business use (e.g., making fireworks to set off on your own property or mixing binary explosive components to remove a stump in your own yard) are not required to have a manufacturer’s license. However, no person may ship, transport, cause to be transported, or receive explosive materials unless such person holds a license or permit.

If you need assistance regarding firearms enforcement related issues please contact your local ATF Office.

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What's New

Agency Information Collection Activities:  Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action:60 day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Application for Explosives License or Permit (ATF F 5400.13/5400.16)

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Transactions Among Licensees/Permittees, Limited

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Report of Stolen or Lost ATF Forms 5400.30, Intrastate Purchase Explosive Coupon

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Limited Permittee Transaction Report - ATF Form 5400.4

Agency Information Collection Activities:  Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Appeals of Background Checks

Agency Information Collection Activites: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested - Action: 60-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: FEL Out of Business Records