If denied, how can I become cleared to possess explosives?

  • Appeals Process — If upon receiving a denial letter from ATF you believe that you are not prohibited from possessing explosives (due to reasons such as identity theft, the dismissal of criminal charges, or other reasons), you may appeal your denial by supplying a written statement, new fingerprint cards, and any supporting documentation that you may have which demonstrates that you are not prohibited. ATF will consider all appeal documents submitted and send the fingerprint cards to the FBI for processing. A determination will be made as to whether the denial should be overturned and you will be notified of the outcome. You will remain in a denied status while your appeal is pending.
  • Relief of Disability Process – If your denial is upheld, you may apply for Relief of Disabilities by sending ATF an Application for Restoration of Explosives Privileges on Form 5400.29. Your application will be coordinated by ATF Headquarters personnel in the Explosives Relief of Disability Section (EROD) then forwarded to the local ATF field office for in-depth investigation. An ATF Special agent will review the application, conduct interviews, and review any relevant court documents and other information.  The Special Agent will then forward a recommendation to either grant relief or deny relief to the Chief, Explosives Enforcement and Training Division, who will make the final decision.  ATF will notify you in writing of its decision.  You may contact EROD by email at EROD@atf.gov or phone at (256) 261-7640.

Last Reviewed October 29, 2018