> Today I received an email from a Roy Parker, who I gather used to work with
> the ATF. I don't know if he still does. Anyway If anybody was wondering if
> current or former ATF agents are persusing RMR, I think now we have some
> veidence that they do.
> I normally don't republish personal emails but I thought the readers might
> want to see the mindset of the ATF as far as rocket motors and APCP is
> concerned, and how it has not chnaged one iota in 7 years. But more
> importantly is the fact that everything the ATF wanteed back then, they have
> already gotten or will soon get.
> You guys are fighting the wrong battle.?? Congress created the
> definition of explosives that ATF has to by law use.?? APCP is an
> explosive the world around and no amount of bullshit posturing can
> change that classification.
> As I told many of you back in the early nineties when I was with ATF
> that your best course of action was to work with ATF and develop a
> reasonable regulatory program.
> You would be better served to work for a reasonable storage regulation
> and a licensing exception that provides for the sale of model rocket
> explosive components at properly permitted shoots.?? This would reduce
> the regulatory violations for both DOT and ATF to a minimum and improve
> the overall safety of your model rocket program.
> The NPRM Final Rule spells out exactly how the AT wants us to purchase, use
> and store motors. They provide 2 avenues:
> 1. a Hobby club LEUP and 2. place order to delaer and he delivers onsite and
> you use on site....
> I do not believe that Gary Rosenfield is any better off today after 12
> years of farting into the wind than he was when I drafted this reply to > him in 1994.
> Mr. Gary C. Rosenfield
> President, AeroTech, Inc.
> 1955 South Palm Street, Suite 15
> Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
> Dear Mr. Rosenfield:
> This is in response to your letter dated May 5, 1994, to the Bureau of
> Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms requesting a clarification regarding
> rocket motors that are exempted under 27 CFR 55.141(a)(8).?? The
> exemptions contained in 27 CFR 55.141 lists those items specifically
> exempted by law in 18 U.S.C. section 845 and those other items that do
> not constitute a public safety threat.?? ATF coordinates the definitions
> of devices and items exempted with other Federal agencies, including
> the Department of Transportation and the Consumer Product Safety > Commission (CPSC).
> We intended to exempt only those items that meet all of the
> requirements we listed in our letter to you dated April 20, 1994,
> including the requirements of the CPSC.?? We did intend to include in
> the exemption the rocket motors that are classified as 1.4S UN 0349,
> and that have been assigned a proper shipping name of Articles
> Explosives, N.O.S.
> We are currently coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration
> and are closely following the National Fire Protection Association's
> (NFPA) development of NFPA standard 1127.?? We also had representatives
> attend the Tripoli Sanctioned, Battle Park 94 rocket launch in
> Culpepper, Virginia, on May 21 and 22.?? When we have concluded these
> activities, we will be better able to address your questions regarding
> how the assembly of high-power rockets that contain more than 4 ounces
> of propellant will be regulated under the Federal firearms laws
> contained in 18 U.S.C. chapter 44 and 26 U.S.C. chapter 53.
> Mr. Gary C. Rosenfield
> If you need further technical assistance, please contact Explosives
> Enforcement Officer Roy Parker at (202) 927-8030.
> Sincerely yours,
> James L. Brown
> Chief, Explosives Division
> Roy Parker
> So I did a google on Roy Parker and found this:
> JOINT STATEMENT ON FEBRUARY 4, 1999 MEETING WITH ATF
> Mark Bundick, NAR President
> Bruce Kelly, TRA President
> Pat Miller, NFPA Committee on Pyrotechnics
> Mike Platt, HPRMADA
> Our thanks to Teresa Ficaretta, Tom Hogue, Bill, O'Brien, Roy Parker,
> Mark Waller, and Jim Zammillo of the ATF , with particular thanks to
> Mark who arranged the meeting.
> Overview: The ATF has little latitude in the law to provide regulatory
> relief to the HPR hobby. They are charged by the Congress via the
> National Firearms Act and the Explosives Act to insure that regulated
> materials are not used in pathological ways, or diverted from licensed
> users of these materials. Changes in regulation of materials must be
> based on assurance that any relaxation poses no greater risks than
> existing limits relative to pathological use or diversion. It is on
> that charge that ATF is bound and on which they are proceeding to
> draft the revised regulations.
> 1. AP Propellant Issues - AP propellant mixtures cannot be removed
> from the annual list of explosives. The enabling legislation behind
> this annual list says "any chemical mixture which may be
> explosive.....". The ATF has no latitude to exclude low or
> inefficient explosive mixtures, or items which, when used as intended
> don't detonate. The Congressional mandate as written in the law
> requires regulation of both low and high explosives. They pointed out
> to us that many of the items on the annual list are lousy explosives,
> but they have no room to change the list without legislative relief > from Congress.
> 2. Propellant Weight Limits - ATF is committed to the 62.5 gram limit
> because they believe that limit represents a risk threshold of what
> can be safely used and stored by the general public without license.
> Their obligations under the law are to regulate any quantity of items
> on the annual list, but by regulation, they exempt selected quantities
> that don't represent any threat of misuse or increase public safety
> risks. Since CPSC established this threshold for general, over the
> counter sale, they believe this definition meets their statutory > needs.
> If we wish to change this limit to something higher, we will need to
> demonstrate to ATF that increased exempt limits represent no increase
> in potential for misuse, or increased public safety risks. NAR and
> TRA are carrying on a discussion to determine what sorts of data or
> test can be used to argue for an increased limit.
> It was clear that as things stand currently, any motor with assembled
> weight over 62.5 grams is to become a regulated device. This has been
> a consistent ATF position since the 1996 Huntsville NFPA meeting. >
> Also, while the language is yet to be finalized on this limit, we
> pointed out that a suggested wording could leave single use G motors
> as unregulated, but reloadable G's as regulated. ATF does not want
> that to happen, but we were unable to come up with a complete
> paragraph that accomplished leaving reloadable G's unregulated. TRA
> and NAR will produce suggested wording for ATF use within two weeks. >
> remember the infamous Hill AFB rocket motor test with the G and J motors?
> Seems the ATF had already made up their mind on the propellant limits. and
> why the heck can't we get those test results?
> This became law on 10/10/06.
> 3. Destructive Device Determination - We discovered that rules
> relevant to rocketry are actually embodied in two pieces of
> legislation, the Explosives Act, which we knew about and the National
> Firearms Act (NFA), which we did not. Under NFA, any rocket with more
> than 4 ounces of propellant can be considered a destructive device.
> ATF counsel strongly suggested we formally petition the Explosives
> Technology Branch (ETB) for an exemption, provided under the law, for
> sport rockets. Counsel indicated obtaining such an exemption should
> not be difficult, but we should do this to further protect our hobby.
> NAR and TRA will work to draft, complete and file such a letter with
> ETB within the next two weeks.
> So NAR/TRA what ever happened to this exemption? Was this ever pursued? I
> still beleive this will be the final nail in the coffin of HPR. Its sorta
> like the ATF's "hole card"....
> 4. Criminal Use - ATF data indicated 442 cases where rocket materials
> were used in an "incident", a case where property damage, injury or
> death occurred. We expect to obtain a detailed compilation of these
> incidents, which the ATF was willing to share with us. They
> contrasted that number to 140 incident reports involving dynamite over
> the same ten year period. ATF believes the magnitude of rocket
> related incidents requires them to act. We suggested that 442
> incidents over the volume of material used, literally in the millions,
> showed a much less serious problem, but they were not swayed by that
> argument. TRA and NAR will review the documentation when it's
> supplied, or, if necessary, file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
> Request to obtain it.
> didn't we file the foia and received back a bunch of blacked out pages? >
> 5. Garage Storage - All garage storage requests now must be handled as
> a variance from published regulations. The Public Safety Branch is
> responsible for granting such requests, and will do so provided (a)
> the storage application is in conformity with NFPA 1127, and (b) it
> has been approved by the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ),
> usually your local fire marshall. Field inspectors do not have the
> right to deny your request for a variance, nor are they the proper
> office to make a determination on it. We recommend when applying for
> an LEUP storage variance, you first clear your storage with the local
> fire marshall, then make the variance application.
> ATF intends to codify the indoor storage variance in the upcoming
> NPRM, i.e. the new regulations will stipulate NFPA compliance and
> local AHJ approval as being adequate for sport rocket storage in
> attached garages of single family dwellings.
> If you do not intend to store motors, then you must make alternate
> arrangements for storage and indicate those arrangements on your
> application. LEUP holders are required to have some provision for
> storage per the law, and ATF cannot grant variances to that, i.e.
> there is no "non-storage LEUP". Your alternate storage can be with
> either another LEUP holder or a licensed dealer.
> However, ATF said sport rocket modelers cannot legally store black
> powder and AP motors in the same magazine. Black powder, except for
> the specific exemption granted in the law for antique firearms, must
> be stored separately from other low explosives.
> how many of you are diverting BP for ejection charges,etc? remember, don't
> ask, don't tell...
> Didn't this variance become law?
> 6. On Field Sales - Licensed dealers cannot legally sell motors on
> site. You must order motors in advance, and can have them delivered
> to you, but the transaction must be consummated in the dealer's
> business location indicated on his license. The reasons for this are
> embedded in legislation restricting gun dealer sales to a fixed
> premises that can be inspected. Dealers can take orders to forward to
> their place of business and fill them from there, but cannot execute
> the trades on the field. ATF indicated relief on this front would
> have to come from legislation, and asking for such a change for sport
> rockets would result in the gun dealer community asking for equal
> treatment. As a result, we don't think we can obtain any relief on
> this item, and strongly urge you to order motors for delivery in > advance.
> Dealers may legally sell at a site only if ATF has granted them an
> additional license listing that location as a place of business.
> Dealers interested in the details of this approach should contact
> either their ATF office or HPRMADA
> How does the above jive with dealers who take phone orders and then deliver
> for use on site?
> 7. Sport Rocket LEUP - ATF was quite amenable to creating this class
> of license, generally in line with the elements of the position paper,
> i.e. lower fee, specifically for sport rocket use, etc.
> 8. Foreign National Participation - Our discussion of foreign
> nationals resulted in ATF correcting our understanding. The term used
> is "non-resident", i.e. they mean anyone not a resident of a
> particular state. Thus the regulation is much broader than we
> thought. There seems to be little relief in store for non-LEUP holder
> to obtain regulated material.
> SEA ACT prohibited persons category expanded
> 9. NPRM Scope and Timing - The proposed scope of the Notice of
> Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) encompasses more than sport rocketry
> issues. ATF also intends to revise some other definitions, storage
> issues for other users, etc. Because of this breadth of items, we
> expect a 90 day comment period to be applied. ATF plans to complete
> its work and internal reviews within 90 days; the proposed NPRM would
> then be reviewed by Treasury staff, a process of unknown duration.
> Only after Treasury review would the NPRM be published. Our
> associations will kept informed on the progress and publication of the > NPRM.
> ATF suggested we can make our response to the NPRM publication more
> effective by asking our members to respond in effective ways. While
> you may wish to comment about the relative merits of the law or cite
> Constitutional passages, this is not effective. The ATF is required,
> with extremely limited staff, to log, read, review, and classify every
> response received. If responses don't stick to the relevant items
> cited directly in the NPRM, then time is wasted, and the final rule
> notice is delayed. We indicated we had no direct control over the
> responses, but would suggest to members how they can be more effective
> in replying to the NPRM. When it is published NAR and TRA will
> suggest how members can better support our positions with suggested
> outlines and drafts.
> NPRM 968 is law and parts of it will be dribbling out over the next few > months....
> 10. Summary - The meeting, 3 1/2 hours long, was cordial, productive
> and open. In cases where the law constrains the ATF, those
> constraints were made clear to us, and explained fully. In cases
> where regulation might be needed, ATF was open to our suggestions, and
> in many cases incorporated them. Where we had work to do after the
> meeting, that was also made clear. All in all we had a very
> productive meeting that set the stage for a clean NPRM publication. >
> We obviously do not get everything we wanted, but the door is open for
> us to obtain higher propellant weight limit exemptions if we can
> provide substantive data to ATF on the risks associated with such
> increases. The burden is now on the sport rocketry community once
> again to provide the underlying scientific and technical data to back
> our case for safe operation.
> Finally, we believe that an open dialog has now been established with
> ATF that can result in a better environment for sport rocketry.
> Meeting the people involved was helpful, for both sides, and will only
> make the job easier going forward. As always, we appreciate our
> members' patience and input, and will strive to keep you informed > going forward.
> so WTF happened folks? It appears to me that just about everything the ATF
> wanted, they've gotten,
> terry dean
> nar 16158
> "Old Rocketeer's don't die; they just go OOP"