laws regarding hazardous material, primers powder


July 28, 2010, 04:48 PM
Ive heard that in order to have over 50 pounds you need to have a special storage bin, ive also heard it was illegal to have over a certain amount of smokeless powder.

my questions are,

Is there a limit to amount of powder you can own
Is there special storage requirements for primers and powder after a certain limit
Is there a limit to primers as well
if there are any laws that i may not have mentioned that could effect me i would like to know.
I posted this in this section due to the fact i think i would have a better response from handloading than legal.

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July 28, 2010, 04:53 PM
Every locality in the county has varying zoning laws concerning the storage of flammables & explosives.
Also, your home owners insurance may have an opinion if you want to keep coverage.

I don't think there is a general answer that would apply everywhere.

Here are SAAMI recommendations that do apply everywhere.


July 28, 2010, 05:01 PM
I found this link with a little research and would like a lot of reloaders to read this, seems there are some laws.
its a GREAT write up

July 28, 2010, 05:17 PM
The only one I've ever checked with was the local Fire Marshall. I didn't want anything to void my fire insurance.

sonier, I did read that and it is interesting.

July 28, 2010, 05:20 PM
I found it interesting how over 20 pounds of powder it needs to be in a container with 1 inch walls for personal use, nothing stated what to do for over 50 pounds, so now im curious to see if there is a legal cap on powder for personal use.

July 28, 2010, 05:26 PM
The only regs I can remember are the DOT regs from when I worked for Hodgdon Powder Co. For smokeless powder containers up to 8 lbs could be shipped as Class A flammable solids and any container larger than 8 lbs had to be shipped as a class B explosive, but that was a LONG time ago and the regs may have changed since them. I am not sure if it was due to the regs, but we kept black powder in a locked metal container inside of a separate building from the rest of our stores.

July 28, 2010, 05:44 PM
I hate assuming but this law makes me believe after 50 pounds it can no longer be stored in a residential house
13-3.7 Smokeless propellants intended for personal use in quantities not exceeding 20 lb (9.1 kg) shall be permitted to be stored in original containers in residences. Quantities exceeding 20 lb (9.1 kg), but not exceeding 50 lb (22.7 kg), shall be permitted to be stored in residences where kept in a wooden box or cabinet having walls of at least 1 in. (25.4 mm) nominal thickness.
since it dosnt say anything for over 50 pounds, im wondering if that could be the cap, if there is one

July 28, 2010, 05:48 PM
It isn't a law.

It is a recommendation by the National Fire Protection Association.

It is true that many localities use those recommendations as a guide in passing zoning laws that cover powder storage in that jusisdiction.

But 13-3.7 is not a law.

The only real Federal laws that I am aware of fall under D.O.T. and HAZMAT regulations covering interstate transportation and storage spill reporting.


July 28, 2010, 05:57 PM
ok so that is basically a guideline to keep your insurance.

July 28, 2010, 06:57 PM
Your best bet is to check with YOUR homeowner's and YOUR county fire marshall

July 28, 2010, 07:06 PM
Check locally, but general FIRE rules seem to be 10,000 Primers, 20 lbs of powder, unless you have a storage magazine of 1" wood walls designed to hold out FIRE but to RELEASE SUDDEN PRESSURE, (50 lbs then). IN A HOME RESIDENCE. CHECK LOCAL FIRE LAWS AND YOUR HOME OWNERS INSURANCE POLICY. DO NOT STORE PRIMERS AND POWER TOGETHER.

July 28, 2010, 08:46 PM
Most localities choose to follow International Fire Code. IFC 2006 (last revision I checked) chapter 33 is very explicit on primer and powder limits. Your local library should have a copy you can peruse. I received the following from my local Fire Marshal via e-mail.

As of 2006, International Fire Code stated the following:
3306.4 Storage in Group R occupancies. The storage of small arms ammunition in Group R occupancies shall comply with Sections 3306.4.1 and 3306.4.2.

3306.4.1 Black powder and smokeless propellants. Propellants for personal use in quantities not exceeding 20 pounds (9 kg) of black powder or 20 pounds (9 kg) of smokeless powder shall be stored in original containers in occupancies limited to Group R-3. Smokeless powder in quantities exceeding 20 pounds (9 kg) but not exceeding 50 pounds (23 kg) kept in a wooden box or cabinet having walls of at least 1 inch (25 mm) nominal thickness shall be allowed to be stored in occupancies limited to Group R-3.

Quantities exceeding these amounts shall not be stored in any Group R occupancy.

3306.4.2 Small arms primers. No more than 10,000 small arms primers shall be stored in occupancies limited to Group R-3.

There was no requirement (at the time of the '06 publication) to store powder and primers separate. That probably has changed. If you want to be absolutely safe, keep powder and primers in separate boxes and in separate rooms.

Call your Fire Marshal, hit the library, or ask a fireman if you're unsure of the regs where you live. They'll probably tell you some variation of the IFC. A lot of cities choose to use it as-is, or with additions (i.e. new regs after the Coconut Grove fire) instead of coming up with their own from scratch.

As the local Marshal told me "Just don't tell your upstairs neighbor you've got 200 lbs of black powder under his bedroom. He might get mad." :D

July 28, 2010, 10:36 PM
yea volunteer fire department here, i know the guy and i know he will say i dont know your going to have to look it up yourself and tell me :( small town 3000 residents in the county and most are part time summer houses.

July 29, 2010, 12:15 AM
I called my Homeowners insurance company last time this topic came up. There was nothing in the policy (or even in their company history) of voiding a claim based on powder/primers at residence. However Gasoline was listed, IF proved I was at fault by GROSS negligence in storage- no specific regs.

Check your county/city code and your insurance (for S&G's). Nothing else will govern you and your reloading supplies.


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