AeroTech Information Release
CEDAR CITY, Utah USA -- On October 10, 2006 new regulations promulgated
by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will
take effect. The new rules limit the propellant weight of rocket motors
and reload kits that are permitted to be sold without federal licensing
and storage requirements. On that date only those rocket motors
"containing no more than 62.5 grams of total propellant weight, and
designed as single-use motors or as reload kits capable of reloading no
more than 62.5 grams of propellant into a reusable motor casing" will be
exempt. A copy of the ATF final rule may be downloaded in PDF format
from the AeroTech website.
The bottom line for AeroTech consumers and dealers is that all rocket
motors and reload kits containing more than 62.5 grams assembled
propellant weight may not be sold to anyone who does not possess an ATF
explosive permit or license. This includes all AeroTech "Easy Access"
and "Restricted Access" reloads as well as the G33J reload kit for the
RMS-29/40-120 motor. In addition, AeroTech/RCS will no longer be
permitted to sell these products to dealers who do not possess the
necessary ATF dealer license.
As you may be aware, the ATF was sued by the National Association of
Rocketry (NAR) and the Tripoli Rocketry Association (TRA) in February of
2000, challenging, among other issues, the ATF's authority to regulate
Ammonium Perchlorate composite propellant (APCP). A hearing is currently
scheduled for October 17, 2006 (one week after the new regulations take
effect) to decide the final outcome of this litigation.
It is possible that on that date U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton
(D.C.) will vacate the ATF's decision to regulate APCP. This would
render the ATF's regulations no longer applicable to purchases of APCP
motors and reload kits of any size. Should that occur, AeroTech will
issue another communication to its customers and dealers explaining the
judge's decision and its ramifications.
AeroTech Consumer Aerospace is a division of RCS Rocket Motor
Components, Inc., Cedar City, UT.
I still can't believe that our respective organizations, and our very
expensive legal team weren't in court on 12-August asking for an injunction
against this rule until the legal case that has dragged on for years has
been settled. The inaction borders on malpractice.
What were they thinking?
according to Mark Bundick over on NARSections, we have 6 years to file suit
against ATF on the 62.5g limit.... If on oct 17 APCP is declared a
non-explosive, the 62.5 g limit for APCP rocket motors becomes moot....thats
if we win....
BP and other "low explosives" rocket motors would still be restricted to the
62.5 g limit....
and is Oct 17 really the final final date? If the ATF loses, can/will they
appeal? Will they get an injunction? if we lose can/will we appeal? as the
stomach turns...... the plot thickens.....
It is not just 7 days, so why bother? It is the principle of the
thing. Even if it were only one day, that still forces many sport
rocketeers to deplete their stocks of affected motors and grains, or
to purchase a LUEP and storage if they are so lucky to be able to
obtain one. An induction SHOULD be obtained, until the issues are
fully resolved in court.
Has it been said anywhere that on 10/17 a ruling WILL be announced?
Not here or ROL, or other forums newsgroups by "Internet lawyers", but I
mean by NAR, TRA and the legal team?
All I can see, it's just another "status" hearing, and while a ruling
might occur, it could also be another "non event" as far as a ruling.
Why would anyone expect the court to grant an injunction? The ATF has
been allowed to enforce existing rules through this entire 7 year case.
The defendant is typically given the benefit of the doubt, you know
the whole "presumption of innocence" thing.
Phil Ste> >
>>>>> As you may be aware, the ATF was sued by the National Association of
>>> Rocketry (NAR) and the Tripoli Rocketry Association (TRA) in February of
>>> 2000, challenging, among other issues, the ATF's authority to regulate
>>> Ammonium Perchlorate composite propellant (APCP). A hearing is currently
>>> scheduled for October 17, 2006 (one week after the new regulations take
>>> effect) to decide the final outcome of this litigation.
>>I still can't believe that our respective organizations, and our very
>>expensive legal team weren't in court on 12-August asking for an injunction
>>against this rule until the legal case that has dragged on for years has
>>been settled. The inaction borders on malpractice.
>>What were they thinking?
> They're thinking that will be irrelevant after 10/17 so why bother.
I'm about as worried about the principle as our leadership is. If you
have the spare change, maybe you fund a suit over prinicples. After
you're done with that, get and induction and after that, get an
It hasn't been said for ceretain but they are hoping. They've also
said there's a good chance that there won't be. This hearing on 10/17
is when ATF is supposed to have their data showing APCP should be
classified as an explosive.
Either way, I can't find fault with them waiting a week to see how
things turn out and then go from there.
Someone else with a big legal budget said - it's the principle. My
priniciples have waited this long. A little more time won't hurt.
Who says we'll even get a ruling on 17-Oct? The JBGTs will drag this along
for several years if necessary. meanwhile the motors that we've used for L1
and L2 to get people INTO the hobby will be unavailable in 4 days. The hobby
as we know it may be dead by the time the judge finally issues a favorable
ruling in the case.
That's why we need an injunction NOW. THE JBGTs have nothing to lose and
everything to gain by dragging this case on forever. Get an injunction now,
and thye lose that advantage.
What would you base your injunction on? Illegal or improper rule
making? Doubt that will work. Likelyhood we'll win on the remaining
counts? Perhaps, but you have to show why an injunction is so critical
that it can't wait until the next schedule hearing - 10 days later.
Irreparable harm? Why now? Why more than in May 2003? The ATF has
claimed all along that they consider the 62.5g limit valid. They've also
said it is possible for non-permit holders to participate in flights.
And how is this different from the LAST time we asked for an injunction
with the VERY SAME Judge on the VERY SAME issue? Well for one, the ATF
now has completed their rule making process.
The only way we're going to rid the hobby from regulation is to get
Congress to act. What are the chances of THAT happening?
Bob Kaplow wrote: