To: Head of Fire Departments
From: Stephen D. Coan, State Fire Marshal
Date: August 1, 2003
Re: Sale of Black Powder

In accordance with M.G.L. c. 148, §9 and 527 CMR 13, a license granted by the State Fire Marshal is required for the sale of black powder. This is in addition to the local permit issued by the head of the fire department.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) reviews the state license and permit requirements during inspections of federally licensed locations. The ATF then notifies the State Fire Marshal of locations in violation of state law, and the state fire code.

Therefore, I would ask that you review your files and ensure that the appropriate locations have both the required permits and licenses to be in compliance with state law. The most common locations for the sale of black and smokeless powder are gun shops, and sporting good stores.

Should you have any questions regarding this issue, please feel free to call the Code Compliance and Enforcement Unit or Technical Services at either (978) 567-3375 or in Western Mass. (413) 587-3181.