May ATF conduct warrantless inspections of licensees’ and permittees’ records of explosives materials, stocks of such materials, and magazines?

Except for limited permit holders, any ATF officer may, without a warrant, enter during business hours the premises, including places of storage, of any licensee or permittee for the purpose of inspecting or examining any records or documents required to be kept by the law and regulations and any explosive materials kept or stored at the premises. For inspection purposes, "business hours" includes hours during which business is actually conducted, not just those hours stated on license or permit applications.

Any licensee or permittee who refuses to permit the inspection or examination is subject to having his or her license or permit revoked, as well as to denial of an application to renew the license or permit.

For limited permit holders, an ATF officer may inspect the places of storage for explosive materials of either an applicant for a limited permit or at the time of renewal of such permit, but in no event shall such inspection occur more than once every three years.

[18 U.S.C. 843(b)(4), 18 U.S.C. 843(f)]

Last Reviewed January 22, 2020