In May of 2005 ATF Investigator Crystal visited my explosives magazine for the mandated inspection. It was the first time she had seen my magazine and contrary to what every other ATF representative had said she wasn’t sure my locks met the letter of the regulations. She decided to ask the authorities “back east” about it and in June of 2005 sent me an email saying I had to correct the deficiency. I made what I thought were the required changes and sent her the pictures in September of 2005. I hadn’t heard anything about them by March of 2006 and was starting to get worried. Boomershoot 2006 was approaching and I required the use of the magazine. I wrote her an email and got a call from her a couple minutes later. I followed her suggestion and asked for a determination on the locks and hoods. Nothing by Boomershoot time and used her suggested Plan B.
After being not being home for a month I went through my big pile of mail tonight and found a letter from the ATF dated July 18, 2006. In it they said, in part:
After careful review, ATF has determined that the 1/4-inch protective steel coverings do not prevent lever action on the locks. However, ATF believes that the combination of the construction of the locks and the protective steel coverings is substantially equivalent to the requirements of the regulations. Therefore, you are granted a variance from 27 CFR, Part 555, Subpart K, to use the alternate locks for you Type-1 outdoor magazine.
Finally! Bureaucracy moves slowly and unsurely. It wasn’t quite what I wanted but it’s good enough.