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Old December 4, 2002, 12:51 PM   #1
Poodleshooter
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Legality of powder storage-Do you know your local laws?

I was somewhat surprised to learn that my nearby town's fire codes prohibit the possession of black powder in ANY AMOUNT! They also allegedly prohibit any smokeless powder in residences.
This was told to me by the former fire marshall.
Supposedly my county allows limits similar to those of the NFPA, but limits blackpowder to 5#. I guess reenactors with cannons are SOL? This seems rather ridiculous, as there were dozens of local revolutionary war reenactors attending a city event a few weekends back,complete with artillery.
So, do you know what YOUR local regulations are? If so, how did you find out? Are they stricter than the NFPA rules?
I really wish that this stuff was codified online.
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Old December 4, 2002, 12:54 PM   #2
Steve Smith
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Actually, I do. I'd suggest you ask for your Marshall's references...they can be wrong, too.
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Old December 4, 2002, 01:27 PM   #3
C.R.Sam
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Steve right...
Sometimes the fire marshal doesn't have the straight scoop.

Good idea to do your own research and get copies to have on hand when questioned or accused.

Sam
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Old December 4, 2002, 01:56 PM   #4
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I just go with the Uniform Fire Code. But I last looked it up in some SAAMI literature almost 20 years ago. Anyone know if the shift to IBC (from UBC) has been paralleled by a shift to an Internaitonal Fire Code, too? By state, county and city, you may be on different "standards", then you may also have local law amendments.

Step 1: Call you building department & find out which code you're on.

In general, I remember that up to 20 lbs of smokeless (5 lbs max Black?) in 1-lb containers are okay, then you need to have a vented fire-resistant cabinet. 1 inch of wood was okay per 1980s UFC.

It required a bigger & more fire-resistant but still vented cabinet at 20.001 to 100 lbs of smokeless, then started getting complicated above that. Separate storage units, minimum spacing distances, etc.

I just keep it below 20 lbs. Never bothered to check what effect the 2-lb, 4-lb and 8-lb containers had on the rules. Just keep 'em in original packaging.
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Old December 4, 2002, 06:37 PM   #5
julianmb
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you guys have it good! here in spain you can only possess 1kg (2.2lbs!) of powder in total at a time, which is a bit dificult if you want to load 3 or 4 rifle calibres and pistol too, not to mention the fact that you can only have 200 loaded rounds in your possession (none of which can be for target shooting weapons, only for hunting), plus 200 primers and 200 primed but not loaded cases (and this is including any 22lr you may have). To buy powder legally you must have an approved press, take a 1-2 day course and then they will give you permission to load FOR THE CALIBRES THAT YOU OWN.

And then begins the saga of actually getting your hands on the powder: it must be delivered (remembering max 1kg) to the police station in your area which handles firearms with an explosive transport vehicle, which unfortunatley cannot bring your (only 200!) primers because they have to travel seperately!

Result is:

No-one stocks powder or primers.
Everyone goes to France, Portugal or Andorra where they are on free sale and drives across the border with it.

All this to clamp down on terrorism, which of course is a good thing if any of this was relevant to terrorism.

If anyone wants to know more or needs more info, pplease feel free to email me julianmb@hotmail.com

regards from sunny spain!
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Old December 4, 2002, 08:25 PM   #6
KP95DAO
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Who gives a flying flip what the regs are? I sure don't.
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Old December 4, 2002, 10:21 PM   #7
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That's a responsible attitude.
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Old December 4, 2002, 11:33 PM   #8
labgrade
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blades,

Actually I can relate. Regs many times are thought up by idiots who haven't the slightest clue regards anything to do with said regs. And, perhaps haven't any authority to do so anyway.

If one is responsible in their use/possession of a thing, what business has any "official" making a rule stating otherwise?

We could expound on this in Legal & Political ....

Back to the thread.

Do check the actual regs & not some word of mouth. Many a times those who should know don't & some will bias their answer with their own personal beliefs of what you should be allowed.
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Old December 5, 2002, 08:13 AM   #9
Dave P
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"an explosive transport vehicle"

Didn't Wylie Coyote have one of these?


Julian - maybe you should consider golf (shudder) as an alternate hobby! Those rules suck big time :barf: :barf:
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Old December 5, 2002, 10:02 AM   #10
Steve Smith
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KP95DAO, you will if you ever have a house fire, regardless of whether the powder had anything to do with it. Imagine still owing for your house and not having one, all becuase your insurance agent dropped you since you were not following flammable material regulations.
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Old December 5, 2002, 12:44 PM   #11
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Here's the ridiculous part: Virginia's fire code allows for 15# of powder. That's a little low, but still manageable. Here's the catch- only 1,000 primers are allowed at one time ***??? I see people buying 5k primers at VA shows all the time. Are we supposed to reload for only 1 type of weapon at a time?? I certainly tend to doubt that the thousands of reloaders in VA keep only 1k of primers in their houses! That's only the state regs-the state code grants communities the right to create more stringent regulations! It really ****** me off that some idiot can make these rules w/o ever consulting anyone in the practice, but I suppose that's par for the course.
Warning to those out there who think that the NFPA found in the reloading books is the end all of regulations: It isn't!
As for checking my local regs- I have no idea where to find them, and asking the fire marshall is like a big flashing sign reading "Come arrest me for building violations!"
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Old December 5, 2002, 01:05 PM   #12
Steve Smith
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Call him and ask where you can find the regulations for flamable product storage in a domicile. Sound like you know what you're talking about and you'll get a good answer without suspicion.
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Old December 5, 2002, 11:50 PM   #13
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With due respect to all the learned posters on this thread, do you honestly believe that you will be given the benefit of the doubt for compliance of these rules and regulations so numerous that most officials can not distinguish what is written into the code in most jurisdictions I have dealt with on many different levels? All I have run into for the most part is people telling me what I can't do.

Poodleshooter, I think you have a better chance of picking up Pixie Sticks with your butt cheeks than actually determining what your actual code really is.
Regards----------Chainsaw
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Old December 6, 2002, 01:12 AM   #14
KP95DAO
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Imagine. Wasn't that a Beetle song?

Steve Smith,

I just know that you have a actual occurrence where your imagined scenario occured. And furthermore that you are now going to be so kind to share that with us. I am looking forward to that. Thank you in advance.
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Old December 6, 2002, 03:28 AM   #15
Cheapo
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Steve doesn't have to answer that. I can. Our town's newbie code inspection chick gave some straightforward (though unwelcome) and honest answers about egress windows during the permitting process on other parts of my house.

All ya gotta do is ask about the fire code. Which one is adopted at your state/county/city level (our codes are statewide with amendments - 2000 or 2001-donremember the cycle years) UBC and electical and fire, with statewide amendments and occasional county and city amendments on top of that.

Generic questions about which version of flammible materials storage in residences won't arouse much suspicion at all.

"Why do you want to know?"

"My gas can for the lawnmower is pretty big. Maybe too big. Add the boat's 100-octane cans and the motorcycle...see what I mean?"

"Don't worry, you can have up to X gasoline in containers so&so big."

"Thanks. Where can I look it up myself? I want to be sure about this. Any local amendments to the fire code?"

There's nothing like disinformational honesty for getting the information you need.
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Old December 6, 2002, 11:22 AM   #16
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Since everyone here obviously has internet access,

may I suggest using your state site? As in, log onto your state law site (try findlaw.com also) and run "propellant" and "gunpowder" as search terms in your state code.

Seems like the obvious place to start, anyway.
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Old December 6, 2002, 02:30 PM   #17
Poodleshooter
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Number 6:
I already referenced the information from my state code, which I did find in state code. That is why I commented on how amusing the state regulations were, as so many people I see at VA gunshows are so obviously breaking them! The problem is that the local town code is even more restrictive-possibly including the complete prohibition of powder and primers.
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Old December 7, 2002, 03:08 AM   #18
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Unfortunately, if you violate ANY section of the fire code, for any jurisdiction that you reside in, you MAY void your fire insurance.

Even if you comply with international, national and state codes, if there's some quirky regulation in your municipal code, your insurance carrier may use it to void your policy. Take a hard look at an out building for powder, primer and ammo storage. Just be sure that the out building doesn't get real hot in the summer.
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Old December 7, 2002, 09:11 AM   #19
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Sssshhhhhh.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha ha!

(If my place ever goes up you'll ALL know.)
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