Federal explosives laws define a "responsible person" as an individual who has the power to direct the management and policies of the applicant pertaining to explosive materials. Responsible persons generally include sole proprietors and explosives facility site managers. In the case of a corporation, association, or similar organization, responsible persons generally include only those corporate directors/officers, and stockholders, who have the power to direct management and policies as they pertain to explosive materials.
For example, a corporate vice president whose duties include acquiring and approving contracts with explosives distributors would be considered a responsible person. Other corporate officials whose duties do not include the power to direct the management and policies of the applicant pertaining to explosive materials, for example, a vice president responsible solely for human resources, would not typically be considered a responsible person. Each applicant for a license or permit must assess the corporate and other management responsibilities for all key personnel and determine whether or not these duties place the individual in the position of being a responsible person. [18 U.S.C. 841(s), 27 CFR 555.11: definition of "responsible person"]