I almost hate to say this but I am beginning to believe that perhaps we should
allow S724 to die a quiet death...... and then focus
on the lawsuit......Although I think Mark B. makes some good points I think he
is being overly optimistic.....If we let S.724 die
now.....then it goes off the congressional radar which right now may be a good
thing.....in the short term.....
Perhaps 2-4-6 years from now with the Bush administration history along with
John Ashcroft and his DOJ/BATFE fanatics, the political
climate might be such that we will get a much better deal that whatever is
possible now..... Plus that will allow us to educate the
congress people over that time frame too ? the other side of the coin is that
the political/terrorism climate may get even worse
than it is now.....
See here's the way I look at all this......The NAR/TRA didn't want to initially
go the legislative route because they knew that we
would be more or less where we are now....evidently ARSA didn't understand the
real politik involved....SO now the NAR/TRA is
trying to salvage an aborted ARSA legislative fiasco......
Even if we rely on the lawsuit, any resolution on that is light years
away....even if we win round 1, you know the Ashcroft DOJ will
appeal, and if they lose there? Well I can see them taking it all the way to the
supreme court... And if it appears they are gonna
lose in court, I can see them getting their buds, Sensenbrenner, Kohl,,et al, to
come up with appropriate legislation to do what
they can't get down .....ever way, we are years away from a final resolution
and may I suggest while all of this is going on that the NAR/TRA consider
opening several new "fronts" in the war:
1. via the NFPA process raise the 62.5g to 125g to get it aligned with the FAA
125 g value that has been there for 50 years....
Here within NFPA I believe BATFE would fight any proposal to raise the
limit.....but it would open up to intense discussion within
this important group which I think is needed..the NFPA might also perform some
tests on APCP to determine if its a good idea or
2. go back through the CSPC process and also get that 62.5 g raised also to 125 g
Now this would make low H power engines, model rocket engines which I think
would be a good thing....but the NAR/TRA might not want
low H power model rocket engines in the hands of minors.....? And how would this
effect the L1 cert process?
Right now you must be 18 to be a L1 and to be a L1 you must launch at least a
H...if an H became a model rocket engine and was
legally available to minors ( 125 ... do we want low H power motors in the hands
of minors? Maybe not a 10 yr old but what about a
17 yr old? Now of course the CSPC would have to conduct tests, hold hearings,
do an NPRM,etc.....
3. go back through the FAA process and get that 113g raised to a unified 125 g
4. go back thru the USPS process and get permission for motors up to 125g to be
shipped Parcel Post
The above is what I call a "full court press"......the best defense is a good
You might ask why is this important, well here's what the BATFE says:
"To ensure consistency, ATF coordinates its use of terms in our regulations with
other Federal agencies and industry associations.
The term "toy propellant device", formerly contained in Department of
Transportation regulation 49 CFR 173.100(u), was used by ATF in determining the
exemption under 27 CFR 55.141(a)(7).
The 62.5 grams propellant weight limit is also referenced by the Consumer
Product Safety Commission regulation 16 CFR Section
1500.85(a)(8)(u). The National Fire Protection Association Code for Unmanned
Rockets (NFPA 1122) also uses 62.5 grams to define
model rockets. Therefore, ATF's regulation of rocket motors containing over
62.5 grams of propellant
is consistent with all Federal agencies involved as well as those States that
rely on the NFPA standards
for their regulations."
If we get the CSPC/FAA/NFPA/USPS to raise that 62.5 g to 125 then by its own
words to be consistent, the ATF would have to support
the use 125g instead....
18 years ago