ATF final rule explosives marking, etc.

The ATF still hasn't published their threatened change to the Propellant Actuated Device definition (they still have one more day in May before their
latest estimate in the agenda goes bust) but they did publish the final rule on marking explosives.
Their were only two comments. The rule making started with a petition from the Institude of Makers of Explosives (IME) dated 7 March 2000. The ATF then published an advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making on 13 November 2000 followed by a Notice of Proposed Rule Making on 16 October 2002. Two and a half years to consider two comments. No wonder it is taking them so long to process the 1,000+ comments to NPRM 968.
The new rules are effective 26 July 2005.
The rules require that imported explosives be marked within 15 days of clearing customs. Which is an improvement over the 24 hour requirement that was in the notice. This will impact imports of Cesaroni motors.
The LEUP is dead! Long live the EUP!
It has also removed the explosives class limitation from the permits. Now if I want to purchase high explosives, I do not first have to upgrade my permit. I can just buy them. I expect that this will require a change to the application form to remove the now redundant permit types. I also expect that the ATF will be very slow in making the changes.
The reasoning behind this change in the NPRM was tortured at best. Surprisingly, there were no comments on this change. The original reasoning was that the ATF was inspecting permitees and frequently finding that they had started purchasing/using/storing high explosives when they only had a low explosives permit. The ATF's "solution" to this problem was to delete the distinction between classes of explosives on permits.
If, for some reason, you want to read the final rule (perhaps a case of insomnia) you can find it here:
http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/05-10618.htm
If for some reason that link doesn't work, you can always go to the main page of the Federal Register:
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html
Then either search or just browse the table of contents for today. (27 May 2005)
I just noticed something a bit bizzare. When discussing the cost of marking imported explosives, the ATF referred to a U.S. Census Bureau figure for the amount of explosives imported. Apparantly the agency in charge of regulating explosives has no idea how much is imported!
--
David W. Schultz
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David Schultz wrote:

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/05-10618.htm

Would this mean I would no longer require an LEUP to keep grains/motors larger than 62.5 grams? That would mean that I would not need an LEUP if I was level I or II and kept motors of that class on my premises for my own use and not for commercial purposes?
Kurt Savegnago
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+Kurt wrote:

No. This rule has no impact on who needs a permit/license. It only effects the marking of imported explosives and class limitations (high/low/blasting/) on permitees.
There are currently 4 types of user permits. (Ignoring the Manufacturer, Dealer, Importer, and Limited permit categories)
Type 33, User of High Explosives Type 34, User of Low Explosives Type 35, User of Blasting Agents Type 54, User of Fireworks (Display)
From this new rule I assume that the types 33, 34, 35, and probably 54 will be rolled into one permit type: User of Explosives
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David W. Schultz
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David Schultz wrote:

Darn!
Thanks for the info. AKS
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This has the potential to have a huge negative effect on rocketry. Fire marshalls will be less likely to allow variances for storage if the permittee could now potentially purchase high explosives such as dynamite.
Brian Elfert
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It might also give them reason to (significantly) increase the fees.
-- David
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I think thats why the BATFE removed the cap on user licenses and fees. Imagine a initial up front license cost of say $1000.... how many people can afford that on a yearly basis? another strangle point.
shockie B)
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It's all about killing rocketry.
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Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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much is imported!
Your tax dollars at work. ; )
Randy http://vernarockets.com /
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David Schultz wrote:

Interesting... you're not supposed to be able to buy high explosives with only a LEUP. I guess the ATF has been so busy harassing rocket hobbyists that they don't have time to regulate the sale of dynamite and other truly dangerous explosives.

That doesn't sound good for us. If the same permit and magazine for low explosives can be used for high explosives, it may be much harder to obtain approval from local AHJs. The ATF may even start applying the same distance requirements for high explosives to all magazines.
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The attached garage exemption would probably have to be eliminated, also. That is the only way that many people can get around the distance requirements.
-- David

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

The change only effects class distinctions for permits. It does not change 27 CFR 550.203 which describes what classes of explosives can be stored in which type of magazine.
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David Schultz wrote:

Right. But you might have a hard time convincing your local fire marshal that you're only going to be buying and storing LE, when you have a permit that allows you to buy HE. I can see the ATF using the same rationale to increase storage requirements. After all, once they give you that permit, there's nothing to stop you buying HE.
Also, many folks would agree to having a special permit created for rocketry materials as a compromise with ATF. (Although the ATF has never shown any interest in compromising before.) This move seems to completely shut off that option altogether. If the ATF feels that separate permits for LE and HE are too much trouble, it's not likely they'd agree to a new permit for rocketry.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote: > > David Schultz wrote: > >> snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote: >> >>>That doesn't sound good for us. If the same permit and magazine for low >>>explosives can be used for high explosives, it may be much harder to >>>obtain approval from local AHJs. The ATF may even s tart applying the >>>same distance requirements for high explosives to all magazines. >>> >> >>The change only effects class distinctions for permits. It does not change 27 >>CFR 550.203 which describes what classes of explosives can be stored in which >>type of magazine. > > > Right. But you might have a hard time convincing your local fire > marshal that you're only going to be buying and storing LE, when you > have a permit that allows you to buy HE. I can see the ATF using the > same rationale to increase storage requirements. After all, once they > give you that permit, there's nothing to stop you buying HE. > > Also, many folks would agree to having a special permit created for > rocketry materials as a compromise with ATF. (Although the ATF has > never shown any interest in compromising before.) This move seems to > completely shut off that option altogether. If the ATF feels that > separate permits for LE and HE are too much trouble, it's not likely > they'd agree to a new permit for rocketry. >
Actually, the ATF said that they would issue a NPRM for a new permit for hobbiests. They made this claim in the final rule that changed the permit fees back in 1998.
"As an alternative to the fee increase, this group proposed that ATF designate a special type of hobby permit for exclusive use by high power model rocket hobbyists which would have a lower fee than that proposed by Notice No. 841. In response to these and other similar comments, ATF will propose in a separate notice of proposed rulemaking to create a separate definition and a lower permit fee for all ``hobbyists'' who receive, transport or ship low explosive materials in the pursuit of recreational or sporting activities."
http://frwebgate5.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate.cgi?WAISdocIDB873496822+0+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve
You might have noticed that no such permit has yet been proposed in a NPRM by the ATF. I am just cynical enough to consider the possibility that the ATF made this claim for the sole purpose of being able to dismiss the comments and procede with the fee increase. Fully aware that they would never publish the NPRM creating the new permit.
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David W. Schultz
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Of course they will. "It only makes sense."-tm
Jerry
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