Ammonium Nitrate Security

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is committed to keeping explosives out of the hands of those with criminal intent and prosecuting those who illegally obtain or misuse explosives. While ATF is primarily concerned with law enforcement and regulatory duties, we also strive to work and consult with the industries we regulate and the businesses, agencies, and groups that affect them. By doing this, we hope to develop more efficient, more effective, and less burdensome programs, policies, and procedures.

After the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, ATF formed an alliance with The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and other agriculture industry members to put forward the “Be Aware for America” program. This voluntary program encourages agriculture industry members to report any suspicious activities or thefts of ammonium nitrate — a precursor chemical often sought by those with criminal intent — to ATF. This program was expanded in 1998 to include “Be Secure for America” and again in 2004 as part of the “America’s Security Begins with You” initiative.

Each of these initiatives sought to raise industry members’ awareness about potential security vulnerabilities relating to ammonium nitrate, encourage the agriculture industry to take extra security measures at production and distribution facilities, and give them ideas on how to fix potentially dangerous problems.

Law enforcement officials and industry members are powerful allies in the effort to protect ammonium nitrate from criminal misuse. You should report suspicious activity regarding ammonium nitrate to local law enforcement personnel and to Federal law enforcement officials. Call the toll free hotline 1-800-800-3855, which is operated by ATF, or 1-888-283-2662, the ATF National Law Enforcement Operations Center.

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Last Reviewed September 22, 2016