I have just recieved an application to get a LEUP. I live in CA, if that
makes any difference to the question I am asking. Here is the question...
Durring the process or there after recieving a LEUP will I have government
inspectors comming to my house for periodic inspections?
I don't know if I want them snooping around my house. One of my concerns is
that I have been making my own motors (most of which are less than the 62.5
grams mentioned on this newsgroup). The larger ones I have used up and will
discontinue making if it is required. But at the same time I have been
testing up to D size motors in my garage in a 6ft x 4 x 4 ft steel test cell
I built to contain the exhaust gas and contain any CATO event. It works
great. But if the ATF people saw it I am affraid it would not be a good
thing. This is why I am hesetant to have them come and inspect my home. If
I go through with the LEUP will I need to get rid of this test cell and
suspend motor making?
Thanks for the help,
It's me again. I guess I should have used a spell checker for the 1st post.
A clarification to the original question. I am applying for just the LEUP.
No storage addendum. This might affect the answer about making and testing
motors. I live in a community that has outlawed fire works of any kind
including sparklers. So having homemade motors in my garage might be a
problem and since getting permission from the local fire department in order
to get a storage addendum to my LEUP is pretty much out of the question
where I live. So I will be just getting the LEUP with out storage. What a
mess to live in good old CA.
There is no such thing as a LEUP without storage. The BATFE will
require you to have 'contingency' storage - someplace to go with any
motor(s) you may have left over after a launch or otherwise that remain
in your possession. You will need to arrange with *someone*, either
another LEUP holder or perhap the vendor you use to store for you.
They generally only do inspections of the storage. I am doing storage for
myself and two others. The last guy who had to renew his LEUP, the ATF
agent came to my house to check out the storage. They never visited his
house as they have no reason to.
The ATF is supposed to do at least one "suprise" compliance inspection
during each three year license period, but I haven't seen an agent since
my last renewal. In my case, I'm usually not home during the hours when
the ATF would come by, so they show up and then have to call to schedule
the compliance inspection.
This reminds that my LEUP expires this fall and I better start the renewal
As a documented user of low explosives, your blip on their radar will
be larger than the rest of the community. By signing their papers, you
give them permission to investigate you and your premises if they have
a reason. The "reason" they come up with can be totally arbitrary and
completely up to them. (Remember, they think rocket motor propellant
But, probably nuthin' bad will happen...
If you have a LEUP, you are subject to periodic inspections. I had
one when I initially got my LEUP, one when I renewed it and one right
after 9/11. My stuff is in an attached garage. They did not go
looking around in the house. Home made propellant does not require a
LEUP so I wouldn't be concerned about it but I also wouldn't leave it
out in front of their face either. That's a hefty test stand for a D.
I doubt if any of the inspectors I had would know what it was but
there again, I wouldn't stick it in his face. A plastic tapr will
keep it clean, dry & out of site.
He isn't planning to have his own storage so the ATF will likely never
even visit his location.
In my experience, the ATf agent never goes beyond looking at the magazine
and where the magazine will be. They don't go into your house and they
don't poke around in your garage either. Their main concerns are that no
gasoline, propane, paint, or other flammables are near the magazine.
The ATF just wants to be sure you don't have a gas can on the same shelf
as the magazine or something like that. Gas cans on the other side of
the garage are okay. They are not concerned about where cars park.
It makes no sense as the car is full of gasoline that is more explosive
than any APCP motor.
Why are you telling me this -
And you pretty much repeat what I said? Am I missing something. We
are both answering the question he asked.
As seemingly relevent as it is, I've never been asked to move
flamables away from my magazine.
You are confusing "The ATF" with the individulal inspectors that came
to visit. Gasoline has never been an issue with the individual
inspectors that visited me. It would not surprise me if a different
one came out the next time and did ask about it.
I was told that since I had flammables (a partial gallon each of acetone and
mineral spirits and some spray paint) and a gas hot water heater in my
garage, I would be required to install a power ventilation system and move
the flammables to another area of the garage. I said I'd never seen that in
the requirements and was told that putting in a vent would be easy compared
to getting a permit if I challenged her recommendation.
So I installed a power ventilation system.
Didn't much matter though, the Houston Fire Marshall refused to allow it.
Said I needed a Houston Explosives Permit. Houston doesn't (didn't?)
differentiate between high and low explosives. I had to have a dynamite
rated storage facility 75' away from any occupied building. He went on to
tell me that no one would ever come looking for my rocket motors and told me
to just "do what ever you want to do illegally. Leave us the hell alone and
we won't bother you!" Direct quote.
Never did get my permit. But I did move my flammables and install power
Please insist that the ATF provide you with the proper renewal form as
required by 27 CFR 555.46
This form must exist as it is currently under review by the OMB in
accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act.
The ATF does not have the authority to snoop around your house. Check
out the law at:
You want Title 18, Chapter 40
And the regulations at:
Title 27 part 555.
The regulations derive their authority from the law.
The law (18 USC 843(f) states:
The Attorney General may enter during business hours the premises
(including places of storage) of any licensee or holder of a user
permit, for the purpose of inspecting or examining
(1) any records or documents required to be kept by such licensee or
permittee, under the provisions of this chapter or regulations issued
(2) any explosive materials kept or stored by such licensee or permittee
at such premises. ...
The Secretary  may inspect the places of storage for explosive
materials of an applicant for a limited permit or, at the time of
renewal of such permit, a holder of a limited permit, only as provided
in subsection (b)(4).
The regulations implementing the law state:
555.24 Right of entry and examination.
(a) Any ATF officer may enter during business hours the premises,
including places of storage, of any licensee or holder of a user permit
for the purpose of inspecting or examining any records or documents
required to be kept under this part, and any facilities in which
explosive materials are kept or stored.
So it would appear that the ATF only has authority for warrantless
searches of your records and storage. If they want more, they will need
either your permission or a search warrant.
I first applied for a permit (by the way, there is no longer any such
thing as a LEUP) in 1997 during the first big ATF 62.5 gram scare. Two
agents came and interviewed me. They couldn't inspect my storage because
I didn't have any. At that time you could have a permit without storage.
It wasn't until after the Safe Explosives Act that the ATF deleted the
language in the regulations that provided that option. I never could
find anything in the SEA that justified that action.
After that I did not see another ATF agent until after 9/11. I received
a phone call around renewal time and that was it. I next saw an agent
at renewal time in 2004. The agent looked at my records and hand copied
some information from them. She also looked at my spiffy new magazine.
(More details of my renewal at
I have not seen or heard from the ATF since then.
The questionnaire the agent used during that interview still has not
been approved by the OMB. Federal regulations prohibit any federal
agency from using an unapproved information collection and also prohibit
them from taking adverse action against anyone who refuses to
participate in an unapproved collection. Keep that in mind if they trot
it out for you.
Contrary to the behavior of the ATF in Washington, most field agents
know that APCP is not a threat and only want to get the process
completed so they can get back to doing something useful.