Is It Legal?
Yes, each SierraBlaster System comes with a letter including an abridged version of our ATF SED Exemption. This letter explains that you are not in possession of a explosive device that requires a Federal Explosive license; meaning that it is legal for anyone who is 18 or older who goes through the Cartridge Certification Process to OWN a SierraBlaster. This letter is not a “get out of jail free card” if you are participating in illegal activities with the SierraBlaster System. Each State and Local authority can regulate the USE of the SierraBlaster so it is important to check with the appropriate State and Local authorities.
The 27 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) regulates explosive materials. According to our conversations with the ATF: Even rock fracturing systems using the same common smokeless powder used in ammunition (some competitors fit this category) are considered an explosive and regulated as explosives. When dealing with smokeless powder there is a very narrow exemption that applies only to small arms ammunition. As soon as the powder is used for something that is not ammunition then the smokeless powder becomes a regulated explosive.
SierraBlaster has reached out to the ATF and they have granted us a Federal SED (Special Explosives Device) Exemption from the 27 CFR part 555 (Link to abridged ATF Letter). This means that you do not need a Federal Explosives License to purchase, possess, or use SierraBlaster 375 Magnum Cartridges and Booster Charges when using them for their intended purpose. However, this does not mean that you may blast whatever, whenever, and wherever you please. Other Federal government entities such as the USFS or BLM may regulate the use of your system.
Some states may require a Blasting License or Permit. It is the responsibility of the user to make sure they are in compliance with state laws. Currently the state of Massachusetts requires a full state blasting license for use.
In 2007 there were over 39,000 general purpose local governments. SierraBlaster can not keep track of the laws for each municipally especially since laws change fairly frequently. Therefore it is the responsibility of the user to make sure he/she is in compliance with local laws. For example; for use in construction some municipalities may require some sort of demolition permit.