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Old December 26, 2013, 08:14 PM   #1
Prof Young
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How much powder is legal?

Loaders:

I wasn't sure if this query should go here or in the Law and Civil section, but I figured the readers in this part of the forum would be more knowledgable on this subject.

Over the years I'v collected a lot of powder. I have about a dozen one pound containers that are, for the most part, only partially full. I'm wondering how Illinois law reads in terms of how much gun powder a private individual may own? I've e-mail the state police via their website about ten days ago, but have yet to get an answer. (Imagine that!) I seriously doubt I'm over the legal limit, assuming there is a legal limit, but I'd like to know the law.

So, does anyone know where or how I can find that info?

May try an internet search.

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Old December 26, 2013, 08:31 PM   #2
jwrowland77
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When I was trying to find out for my town in Arkansas, I contacted our local fire department, and they got back to me within a day.
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Old December 26, 2013, 09:16 PM   #3
pelo801
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Yes, I'll second that ^^

Check with your county fire marshall.
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Old December 26, 2013, 09:21 PM   #4
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It depends on local ordinance. Our town has a 50 lb. limit. Boy am I in trouble....
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Old December 26, 2013, 09:56 PM   #5
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You might also want to check with your homeowner's insurance provider - THEY might have a limitation or at least a storage requirement similar to the fire marshal like a wooden powder magazine
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Old December 26, 2013, 10:08 PM   #6
reynolds357
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My insurance agent told me "don't volunteer any information. If they don't ask, definitely do not tell."
I really do not know what the big deal with powder is. Its not really dangerous unless you put it into something that can hold pressure.
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Old December 26, 2013, 10:17 PM   #7
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I also live in Illinois-You would have to contact your local city and ask them.For example Plainfield is 50 lbs I was told but i then moved to unincorporated will county and now I don't have a limit.Good luck
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Old December 26, 2013, 10:21 PM   #8
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"Big D" is right on the money. The insurance company trumps the authorities. You should carefully review your HO policy to make sure you have adequate coverage in the event an accident occurs. You might need to consider adding coverage. Read and then talk to your broker.

Good luck.
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Old December 27, 2013, 01:05 AM   #9
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I can't speak for Ill. but most localities have A legal limit on amounts allowed! You can likely find that info from a trusted LGS or the proper authorities!


How you go about getting that correct info is up to you!
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Old December 27, 2013, 10:41 AM   #10
myfriendis410
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A gas can in the garage is more dangerous than powder.
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Old December 27, 2013, 10:49 AM   #11
BigD_in_FL
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True, but a gas can AND the powder in the garage can be a tad exciting if something goes awry
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Old December 27, 2013, 10:54 AM   #12
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Here's one good spot to check local ordinances: http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=11170
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Old December 27, 2013, 11:01 AM   #13
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A place of business seems far more likely to run into a hassle over storage of potentially dangerous stuff than a private residence.
Has anyone ever had their home inspected by the fire department or insurance company?
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Old December 27, 2013, 11:23 AM   #14
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Al Gore?....

Safety & security are important but Id include the environmental/EPA standards too. Are there any state/county/local statues re: environment for private owners?

Clyde
PS; FWIW safety/fire alarms are no joke. A small business owner/entrepreneur who was R&Ding a new type of cooking oil had a huge mess when his barrels caught fire & blew up!
The FD came by but it was a big news story. No one was hurt or killed but there was a lot of damage to the structure.
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Old December 27, 2013, 12:07 PM   #15
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Gun powder and gas cans would be nothing compaired to one or more of my Oxy/Act rigs going off.
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Old December 27, 2013, 12:14 PM   #16
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Your local zoning regulations and fire department are the place to go for the answer.

Up here, we have a 25-pound limit for a residence.
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Old December 28, 2013, 10:17 AM   #17
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Not mentioned is (real) black powder.
I hear in many locations 50 pounds is the limit and that may be a Federal limit.
I keep nearly that much on hand at all times.
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Old December 28, 2013, 10:34 AM   #18
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A gas can in the garage may will be more dangerous, but so what, its more than likely not regulated and gunpowder is in most places.

A NASCAR race car is more than likely safer on the highway, but try to get one licensed for on the road, not likely.

Lets not forget common sense.
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Old December 28, 2013, 01:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Over the years I'v collected a lot of powder. I have about a dozen one pound containers that are, for the most part, only partially full.
The greatest risk, in my opinion, is self combustion with old gunpowders. The shooting community is in complete denial about this, but gunpowder has a shelf life. Gunpowder deteriorates: is a high energy compound breaking down to a low energy compound. Shooters want their stash to last forever and so don’t want to hear about this. Like all shelf lives, it varies, varies a lot, but, a good rule of thumb is 20 years for double based and 45 years for single based powders. Heat dramatically reduces the lifetime.

I have written extensively about this in various posts:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...owder+lifetime

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ated+gunpowder

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ght=old+powder

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ght=old+powder

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ght=old+powder


The military demills old shells and Camp Minden (old Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant ) is an example of what happens when the stuff starts self igniting. People were reporting what they thought were meteor explosions, they had no idea of the unsafe conditions at the ammunition plant.

http://www.raptureforums.com/forum/s...ana-print.html

http://beforeitsnews.com/earthquakes...n-2445662.html

If my recollection was correct, the contractor had about six million pounds of gunpowder out in open fields, just look at the pictures in this news report:
http://www.ksla.com/story/20196752/l...at-camp-minden

There has to be legal limits to the storage of powder as many people are ignorant, irresponsible, pigheaded, and these types build huge hoards of junk. Given that hoarders won’t inspect or dump their gunpowder stash, they become a risk to everyone around them. Localities don’t want their firemen blown up fighting fires started by old ordnance, nor do house owners want to be living next to some nut with a thousand pounds of fuming old gunpowder in his house.
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Old December 28, 2013, 02:21 PM   #20
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What people do NOT know is the best for you! That way they will NOT tell some one else!
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Old December 30, 2013, 01:02 AM   #21
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Might be, but if you do happen to exceed what the local regulations allow, and have a fire, you will probably discover that all your homeowner's insurance payments just got flushed down the toilet. Always best to stay within the laws and regulations.

Call your local fire marshal and ask. I have to keep my powder stored in a building separate from my home but I'm fully covered insurance-wise.
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Old December 30, 2013, 01:46 AM   #22
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Quote:
It depends on local ordinance. Our town has a 50 lb. limit. Boy am I in trouble....
I can help you with your legal problem, I'll even pay shipping!

Thanks for the Intel Slamfire. I will find that quite useful as my stock builds slowly.
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Old December 30, 2013, 09:10 AM   #23
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I store the bulk of my powder at my mother-in-laws. That's how I deal with fire codes and insurance issues.
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Old December 30, 2013, 09:27 AM   #24
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Slamfire, I know that there have been cases of powder "self igniting." Having said that, it is so rare that it is a statistical anomaly. I am paranoid as paranoid can be about Black Powder, but Smokeless does not concern me too much. Having said that, I do throw it away when it starts changing color. Just this month, I threw away all my powder in metal cans. It's not because I was scared of it, but because the couple cans I loaded from would not group acceptable.
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Old December 30, 2013, 08:41 PM   #25
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Quote:
Having said that, it is so rare that it is a statistical anomaly.
I wish I knew where the data bases that have data on fires, explosions, are but I don’t know. I only hear of laundry dryer’s catching on fire from friends, but they happen. I have read only one post warning about old Talon gunpowder causing two house fires. I suspect there have been more, but without databases or personnel contact with the unfortunate, how do we find out?

The risks of old gunpowder storage has been well known for over 100 years:

ROLE OF DIPHENYLAMINE AS A STABILIZER IN PROPELLANTS; ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY OF DIPHENYLAMINE IN PROPELLANTS

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/783499.pdf

Quote:
Nitrocellulose-base propellants are essentially unstable materials that decompose on aging with the evolution of oxides of nitrogen. The decomposition is autocatalytic and can lead to failure of the ammunition or disastrous explosions.

There is a debate in the insensitive munitions community and it centers around the veracity of the “five inch rule” . There are those that say munitions smaller than five inches won’t autocombust because shell casing has enough mass to wick away the heat. Others I know say that is bogus. What is true is that all gunpowders degrade and even if they are not fire hazards, at the end of their shelf life, they will blow up your gun.

Nation states have to be very diligent about munitions stockpile surveillance. Those Nations that are not diligent have ammunition dumps explode at the rate of about one per month. You can google this and find recent examples. NATO spent hundreds of millions of dollars disposing of communist block munitions because cold war era ammunition dumps were blowing up all over the place. This paper is interesting because you get to see some of the disposal rationale and discussion going on in 2010:

Environmental Impact of Munition and Propellant disposal

http://www.underwatermunitions.org/E...sal_-_NATO.pdf

Take a look at section 2.2 on Bulgaria’s ammunition surveillance program. They are having to dispose something close to 100,000 tons (a year?) of old ammunition because the stuff is unsafe to use and unsafe to store.

This is a fun quote from the document:

Peter Courtney-Green pointed out that stockpiles do actually affect the environment in a very direct way: they eventually blow up! There have been many fatalities associated with stockpiles over the years.
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Last edited by Slamfire; December 31, 2013 at 05:43 PM.
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