Explosives Storage Requirements - Storage Security

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Storage Security

Hinges and hasps

Hinges and hasps must be attached to doors by welding, riveting, or bolting so that the bolts cannot be removed from the outside.


Image of a mortise lock diagramImage of a padlock diagramATF suggests that any padlock securing an explosives magazine have an American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) rating of at least 5 for "forcing" and "surreptitious entry." ASTM's publication, F883-97 "Standard Performance Specifications for Padlocks," describes and grades various levels of performance for padlocks. Having the appropriate padlock will prevent easy access to thieves and help to thwart break-ins and robberies.


The regulations generally require:

  • Two mortise locks;

  • Two padlocks fastened in separate hasps and staples;

    • Padlocks must have at least five tumblers and a casehardened shackle of at least 3/8-inch diameter.

    • Padlocks must be protected with no less than ¼-inch steel hoods constructed so as to prevent sawing or lever actions on the locks, hasps, and staples.

  • 3-point lock;

  • Combination of mortise lock and padlock; or

  • Mortise lock requiring two keys to open.

Indoor Magazines

The locking requirements for indoor magazines are generally similar to those for outdoor magazines. However, an indoor magazine located in a secured room that is locked as provided in subparagraph 27 CFR 555.208(b), 555.210(b) or 555.211(b) with the door hinges and lock hasp securely fastened to the magazine, may have each door locked with one steel padlock that meets the requirements stated above.

"Hockey Puck" Locks

Image of a hockey puck lock"Hockey puck" type locks have no visible shackle when installed. The locking bolt and staple are both completely covered and protected by the lock body.

Prior to installing a hockey puck lock, the licensee/permittee must request and receive a variance from the locking requirements found in the Federal regulations.

For these locks to be approved for use, the lock must also have a casehardened shackle and a close-fitting shroud to prevent sawing or lever action (prying) of the lock.



Flush Mounted Locks

Locks known as "flush-mount lever locks" do not provide adequate protection against pulling or prying the lid off the magazine. This type of lock fails to provide a level of theft-resistance for indoor storage of low explosive materials and may not be used to secure Type-4 indoor magazines. For additional information, see ATF Ruling 2004-3. Licensees or permittees who desire to use this type of lock in a secured room that is that locked as provided in subparagraph 27 CFR 555.210(b) may submit a request for a variance from regulations to the Explosives Industry Programs Branch.

Vehicular Magazines

When unattended, Type-2, -4 and -5 vehicular magazines must have wheels removed or otherwise effectively immobilized by kingpin locking devices or other methods approved by the Director.

Magazine Inspections

  • Magazines must be inspected at least once every 7 days. This inspection need not be an inventory, but must be sufficient to determine if there has been unauthorized or attempted entry.

  • A complete inventory of your explosive materials is required annually. This inventory shall be entered into your Daily Summary of Magazine Transactions.

Last Reviewed September 22, 2016