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Industry Circular

Number: 76-3

Date: February 12, 1976

Department of the Treasury

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

Washington, DC 20226


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Federal explosives licensees and permittees, and others concerned:

On December 29, 1975, a bomb-blast ripped through New York's LaGuardia airport, killing 11 persons and injuring some 75 others.

This tragic incident is but the latest in an alarming upward spiral of bombings that have occurred in cities, suburban communities, small towns and rural areas across America in recent years. Numerous law enforcement officials fear that this upward spiral will swell into an epidemic in 1976.

Terrorist groups have vowed to increase violence during the Bicentennial year; past experience has shown that such groups rely heavily on bombings as a tool in "publicizing" political dissent. Reports show, for example, that more terrorist bombings occurred during the first half of 1975 than in all of 1974. A NUMBER OF THESE BOMBS WERE MADE WITH STOLEN EXPLOSIVES.

The increase in bombing incidents in this country and the increase in explosives thefts is of great concern to all segments of the American public. ATF believes that you, as members of the explosives industry and as dealers in and users of its products, are particularly concerned in this regard; we urge your cooperation, therefore, in reporting thefts of explosives promptly and in providing greater security for your premises and magazines.

Specifically, we ask you to:

1. Report all thefts or losses of explosives from your magazines or premises promptly. Notify, by phone, the nearest ATF office and your local authorities. Follow this with a report on ATF Form 4712, "Report of Theft of Explosives." We have learned that some licensees and users of explosives have failed to report losses or thefts. Federal law prescribes penalties for failure to report within 24 hours the theft or loss of explosives from your magazines or premises.

2. Remember to inspect those magazines not in daily use at intervals of not more than three days. This would

assist you in detecting any break-in or attempted break-in at your magazines.

3. Pay closer attention to the activities taking place on your business premises; take note of unusual activity or strangers in the vicinity of your explosives storage areas.

4. Review your recordkeeping practices to satisfy yourself that no discrepancies exist or that there has been no juggling of figures in your reported inventories. Promptly correct any clerical errors uncovered.

It may have been some time since you last considered the adequacy of your explosives security procedures, particularly the degree to which your magazines are secure from forced entry. We urge you to take this opportunity to consider this vital matter.

If you have any questions or feel you need assistance in any matter, please do not hesitate to contact your ATF regional office or the nearest local office.

Rex Davis

Rex D. Davis


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