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Zoning 🟧 ATF applications

Maister

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I've got someone applying for a variance to operate an ammunition loading business as a home occupation. One of the provisions of our zoning code is that "no home occupation shall be permitted to use, store, or produce any hazardous materials in excess of quantities permitted in residential structures."

Which raises the question to me what exactly is the quantity of gunpowder one is permitted to use, store, or produce in a residential structure? Is there maybe some fire code limit? ATF mandated limit based on the type of license? Anyone familiar with ATF licensing procedures and requirements?
 

luckless pedestrian

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I worked on a home occupation for gun sales once and ATF didn't allow it because it was a little off the beaten path - they usually will license ammo/gun shops as a home occupation but preferably on corridors/connector roads and not on rural roads or cul-de-sacs

Not sure if that is written anywhere but that's what was told to me verbally
 

dw914er

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We have defaulted to Fire Department conditions regarding the safe storage of ammo. Our Home Occupation Permit has been pretty lenient with most gun-related businesses since we're a pretty pro-gun community.
 

SlaveToTheGrind

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No regulated by the zoning code. Fire department? Perhaps. I don't know what the IFC has to say. Is a commercial business (Cabela's) restricted on what can be stored and on the shelf? My guess is IFC if anything. My community is very pro-2A and sure a few council members carry to meetings.
 

UrbanUnPlanner

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Which raises the question to me what exactly is the quantity of gunpowder one is permitted to use, store, or produce in a residential structure? Is there maybe some fire code limit?
Is a commercial business (Cabela's) restricted on what can be stored and on the shelf? My guess is IFC if anything.
I'd also use the IFC limit for this, which is found in 5606.4.1 (blackpowder)/5606.4.2 (smokeless), although there is the thorny issue of "personal use" being ensconced into the Code language there (is a home occupation "personal use"?) -- with the situation the OP's applicant is in, I would limit them to 50lbs total of powder (black and smokeless), factory packed in 1lb or less containers, of which a maximum of 20lbs can be outside the Code-prescribed storage box at any one time. Given that propellant charges in handloading are measured in smallish numbers of grains, at 7000 grains to the pound, 1lb of smokeless is enough for well over 50 if not 100 or more rounds. (As an example, the quite powerful .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge is typically loaded with anywhere from 70-110 grains of propellant depending on the desired power and the bullet used.)

Also note that the 2021 IFC added 5606.6 governing reloading specifically; some of it is common-sense (static electricity and waste material control at handloading workstations, as well as written safety rules and operating instructions), and some of it is a bit tricky (C1D2 for electrical equipment within 3' of workstations, special requirements for vent fans). I'd get the petitioner in touch with the fire marshal so that they can write up some simple, workable checklists and a reminder-poster, and get started on their powder-storage box and workstation setup.

And yes, the IFC does also place restrictions (in 5606.5) on what can be stored (complicated) and on the shelf (20lbs max of smokeless, in 1lb or less containers, and 1lb max of blackpowder) in a mercantile occupancy.

P.S. another quirk of the IFC language on this is that the OP would need to be in a R-3 occupancy (aka a single-family house, duplex, or townhouse) to legally exercise their variance. (If they do scale up to having to build their own little ammo factory nestled into the corner of an industrial park somewhere, it'd be a H-2 occupancy.)
 
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