Administration and Forms - Firearms Dealers

Details on the administration involved and forms required on the storage of ammunition are set out below:

Storage of Ammunition

1. Is ammunition and/or propellant powder classed as an explosive?

Yes, ammunition and propellant powder are both classified as explosives under the Explosives Act 1875.  The Explosives Act 1875 is currently being updated.

2. Is a licence required to store ammunition or powder?

That depends on the quantity stored.  There are two relevant levels of storage authorised under the Explosives Act:

3. Is a registered firearms dealer required to have authorised storage for ammunition?

Yes, it is sometimes wrongly assumed that being a registered firearms dealer (under the Firearms Acts) automatically means that the premises is also registered for storage under the Explosives Act when, in fact, this is separate legislation.  A registered firearms dealer needs to have either a registered premises or a local authority store to keep his stocks of ammunition.

4. What are the Registered Premises Modes?

5. What is a local authority store?

This is a store built in accordance with the Stores for Explosives Order (S.I. No 804 of 2007) which is licensed by the local authority for the storage of up to 2 tonnes of explosives. The licence can last for up to 5 years before it needs to be renewed.

6. How many cartridges do these explosive limits equate to?

Propellant weight is usually expressed in grains with 1 lb = 7,000 grains of powder.  This table gives a rough guide to the maximum quantity of cartridges permitted in accordance with the explosive limits and based on typical cartridge propellant loads:

Ammunition examples

Typical propellant weight per cartridge (grains)

Reg Premises Mode B
See Q4

Reg Premises Mode A
See Q4

Local Authority Store
(2 tonnes)

9mm Pistol




6 Million

.22 LR


1.2 Million

1.6 Million

10 Million





2 Million







7. Which type of storage is suitable?

The vast majority of dealers storing ammunition should find registered premises adequate for their ammunition stocks.  The bigger dealers/importers or those storing bulk propellant would probably require a local authority store.

8. Is powder the same as ammunition for storage purposes?

No, controls on storage of powder are far stricter due to the extra safety and security requirements involved, including construction, separation distances, fire precautions, etc.

9. How do I get my premises registered or licensed for storage purposes?

You apply by way of application forms either for application or licence. The Fire Officer is normally the authorised officer of the local authority who deals with registration or the local authority for the purpose of licensing under the Explosives Act.


10. What about security issues?

Your local Garda Síochána crime prevention officer will be able to advise you on security.

11. When do I need to show evidence of current registration of premises or local authority licence?

You need to show evidence of current registration of premises or local authority licence

12. Where do I get additional information?

General Guidance Notes on explosives legislation, the Stores for Explosives Order and the relevant application forms are all available on our website.

Further information can also be obtained from your local authority Fire Officer.