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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Washington, DC 20226

April 19, 2011

Open Letter to All Explosive Industry Members

In response to continued thefts of vehicles carrying explosive materials along the southwest U.S. border, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reminds all persons holding Federal explosives licenses or permits of the importance of security when storing or transporting explosive materials. As stated in a February 2009 ATF Advisory Letter, industry members should take precautions to maximize the security of their operations.

Licensees and permittees should review ATF Publication 5400.15, Safety and Security Information for Federal Explosives Licensees and Permittees, that we produced in partnership with the Institute of Makers of Explosives and the International Society of Explosives Engineers. This information may be useful in identifying potential weaknesses in security and in offering precautions to prevent thefts and potential illegal use of explosives. ATF will continue to work with and advise the explosives industry on new developments or methods to prevent thefts and to avoid potential access to explosive materials by terrorists and prohibited persons.

Attached to this letter is a checklist of recommended steps you should take to enhance security of your business operations. We appreciate your continued support and welcome any comments or suggestions you may have for future initiatives. Should you have any questions regarding this letter or these recommendations, please contact your local ATF Field Office.

ATF commends industry members for their reporting to the U.S. Bomb Data Center of explosives thefts that occur in Mexico and along the U.S. border. Federal explosives licensees and permittees are encouraged to continue the voluntary reporting of explosives thefts that occur in Mexico. Together we can prevent the illegal access of explosive materials by terrorists or those with criminal intent.

Thank you for your continued cooperation and vigilance.

Signature of Arthur Herbert

Arthur Herbert
Assistant Director
Enforcement Programs and Services