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: 30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Notification to Fire Safety Authority of Storage of Explosive Materials.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – Separation Distances of Ammonium Nitrate and Blasting Agents from Explosives or Blasting Agents

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 60-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Transactions Among Licensees/Permittees and Transactions Among Licensees and Holders of User Permits

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 60-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Notification to Fire Safety Authority of Storage of Explosive Materials

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 60-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Notification of Change of Mailing or Premise Address

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Identification of Imported Explosive Materials

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested – Action: 30-day Notice of Information Collection Under Review: Federal Explosives License/Permit (FEL) Renewal Application

Explosives in Transit

Executive Order to Improve Safety and Security of Chemical Facilities

Open Letter to All Federal Explosives Licensees and Permittees

Industry Advisory – Black Powder, Black Powder Substitutes, & Smokeless Powder - Each year in the United States hundreds of people are killed or injured by explosive devices, many of which involve black powder, black powder substitutes, and smokeless powder. ATF has partnered with DHS and FBI to ask industry members who distribute these powders, particularly employees involved in point-of-sale transactions, to familiarize themselves with behaviors that may indicate intent for unlawful use and to report suspicious activity. Industry members are asked to post this advisory where employees can view it and integrate awareness and suspicious activity reporting into formal training programs. Questions regarding this advisory program should be referred to EIPB@atf.gov.