ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

ATF
Ruling 2002-4

18 U.S.C. 842(j):
STORAGE OF EXPLOSIVES

27 CFR 55.208(b)(1), 55.210(b)(1), and 55.211(b)(1): INDOOR STORAGE OF
EXPLOSIVES IN BUSINESS PREMISES DIRECTLY ADJACENT TO A RESIDENCE OR DWELLING

ATF requires approval
of variances for indoor storage of explosives in business premises directly
adjacent to a residence or dwelling.

ATF Rul. 2002-4

The Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has received questions concerning indoor storage
of explosives in business premises directly adjacent to a residence or
dwelling.

Section 842(j) of
18 U.S.C. states: "It shall be unlawful for any person to store any
explosive material in a manner not in conformity with regulations promulgated
by the Secretary."

The regulations in
27 CFR 55.208(b)(1), 55.210(b)(1), and 55.211(b)(1) specify that no indoor
magazine is to be located in a residence or dwelling. Section 55.22 specifies
that the Director may allow alternate methods or procedures in lieu of
a method or procedure specifically prescribed in the regulations. Specifically,
section 55.22(a)(3) provides that such "variances" are permissible
only in certain circumstances, including where "[t]he alternate method
or procedure will not be contrary to any provision of law and will not
. . . hinder the effective administration of this part."

ATF has been asked
whether businesses that are directly adjacent to living quarters may lawfully
store explosive materials in the business premises. The issue presented
is whether the premises amount to a "residence or dwelling"
within the meaning of the regulations cited above.

Even where the business
premises are segregable from the living quarters by the existence of a
door or a common wall, the business premises retain their character as
a residence or dwelling. Accordingly, indoor storage of explosives in
such premises is generally prohibited and can be allowed only pursuant
to an approved variance.

Held, ATF
requires approval of variances for indoor storage of explosives in business
premises directly adjacent to a residence or dwelling. ATF may approve
such variances upon receipt of all appropriate certification and other
documentation as may be requested.

Date signed: August
23, 2002