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USA explosive laws Answered

I suggest an 'ible about USA laws and case law regarding the production and use of explosives. there are always comments about this in the explosive 'ible 's and it would be great to clear some of it up.


Not to mention that the laws change in this country (sometimes) faster then the Law books can come out.

The felony part comes into play when you use the explosives for anything other than thier intended use like placeing it in a pipe to blow up a mailbox or on the kinda shady side using it as a joke and it scares anyone. Fireworks are different unless you do as I did when I was a kid and tear them apart or modify them, then you can also face charges. Heck I like blowing stuff up that's why I chose the job I have. Rick

High explosives other than fireworks in most states = Felony. I should know I'm a Bomb tech!


Until post-911 regulations, there were many rural communities where you could go down to the local farm supply, buy a case of dynamite and associated pieces, and use them legally for things like stump removal and pond creation (on your FARM, don't you know) without needing any federal license at all. I'm not sure exactly how that relates to your comment, but I always found it a bit mind-boggling.

This would be quite an undertaking to list out every Federal, state, county, and city law regarding such things... and they will constantly be in need of upkeep and updating... your best bet is to look at your states laws, or just call the city or county seat and ask.

As far as I'm concerned I know they're extremely strict.

I know that the sale of oxidizers, the primary reactant of any given high explosive, is controlled by the US government.

Don't go looking around or ordering anything but an extremely small amount if at all, because the government will track your computer if there is any suspicion.


10 years ago

It's a very complicated situation involving not just US Federal law but also State, County, and city law. Manufacturing, sales, storage, transportation, and use, are all separate issues, sometimes handled by regulations from different organizations (and different organizations at the state/etc level than at federal level.)
Some of the rocketry and fireworks organizations have managed to put together understandings of the laws they believe apply to them in the areas where they operate, but it didn't stop (for example) the vice president of the Western Pyrotechnics Association from being arrested and charged when he left a trailer with contents parked in the wrong place (or something like that.)
And then intent comes into play. Piss off the cops and your fireworks become "destructive devices", and your large model rockets become "terrorist weapons", and so on. SURPRISE the cops and that may be enough to piss them off; better to make friends with the local AHJs and have them know what you're doing.
Your best bet is to operate under the auspices and rules of a local club and/or school and/or company. They'll be known to the AHJs, have set themselves up with appropriate rules, and some older member's experience may save your life. There are rocketry clubs (NAR, TRA) all over and fireworks clubs somewhat more scattered. I don't know about high explosives/blasting; in rural areas whoever sells the dynamite will know who you should talk to. In an urban environment, you're probably out of luck, and you probably should be.