Discussion of Selected Section 842 Offenses
Section 842(a)(1) makes it unlawful for a non-licensee to import,
manufacture or deal in explosive materials. While the term "deal" is not
defined, a single sale with evidence of intent to engage in future sales, is
sufficient and that defendant cannot avail himself of the "single sale"
See United States v. Hamilton, 689 F.2d 1262, 1272 (6th Cir.
cert. denied, 459 U.S. 1117 (1983).|
Section 842(a)(2) makes it unlawful to withhold information or make
false oral or written statement "for the purpose of obtaining explosive
materials." While a defendant may argue that a false statement was given
different purpose, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
interpreted "for the purpose of" to be a description of the explosives
transaction, that the dealer is also statutorily required to keep records
See United States v. Johnson, 726 F.2d 1018, 1020-21 (4th Cir.
1984); see also H.R. Rep. No. 91-1549, 91st Cong., 2d Sess.,
in 1970 U.S. Code Cong. and Adm. News 4007, 4043. Additionally, a
statement made in the context of a larger illegal operation is not a
of this subsection. See United States v. Lake, 985 F.2d 265,
(6th Cir. 1993)(although mine was unlicensed, miner's conviction could not
sustained where he stated explosives were for mining).
Section 842(a)(3)(A) bars a non-licensee or non-permittee from
in the knowing interstate shipment, transportation or receipt of explosive
materials, except that a non-licensee lawful purchaser may transport
explosives across a contiguous State border so long as the transportation,
shipment or receipt of explosives is lawful in the destination State.
considered this a key provision of Chapter 40. See H.R. Rep. No.
91st Cong., 2d Sess., reprinted in 1970 U.S. Code Cong. and Adm. News
Section 842(a)(3)(B) prohibits nonlicensees and nonpermittees from
knowingly distributing explosive materials to any unlicensed person who the
distributor knows or has reasonable cause to know does not reside in the
distributor's State. Explosive materials include explosives, blasting
and/or detonators. United States v. Blackwell, 946 F.2d 1049, 1053
Section 842(f) is a specific intent crime, where it is unlawful for
licensee or permittee to willfully fail to fulfill the mandated
for any type of explosives transaction.
Section 842(h) was broadened by the Antiterrorism Act of 1996,
707, 108 Stat. at 1296, to prohibit knowing unlawful possession of stolen
explosives. This subsection now reads:
(h) It shall be unlawful for any person to receive,
transport, ship, conceal, store, barter, sell, dispose of, or pledge or
as security for a loan, any stolen explosive materials which are moving as,
are part of, which constitute, or which have been shipped or transported in,
interstate or foreign commerce, either before or after such materials were
stolen, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the explosive
materials were stolen.
The new subsection also requires an interstate nexus that was missing in the
older statute. The interstate nexus, however, may be supplied if the stolen
explosives came from a shipment intended for interstate movement.
[cited in USAM 9-63.900]