ROL NEWS--Joint Statement on BATFE Litigation, May 23, 2006

Joint Statement on BATFE Litigation, May 23, 2006
May 24, 2006
Web posted at: 12:47 PM EDT
(ROL Newswire) -- Acting in accordance with the United States Court of
Appeals opinion, issued on February 10, 2006, which upheld our appeal
and remanded the matter of the classification of APCP as an explosive
back to the BATFE (and thus to the US District Court), Judge Reggie
Walton issued an order for the parties to attend a hearing held on April
20, 2006. The purpose of this hearing was, simply stated, for the BATFE
to be directed by the District Court on how the remand from the
Appellate Court would be handled.
The outcome of the hearing was very favorable to our position, in that
the agency is being required to report on their plans and status in
complying with the Appellate Court's mandate in an expeditious manner.
During the hearing, BATFE counsel requested an open-ended timeframe for
complying with the mandate, a request strongly objected to by our
counsel, and rejected by Judge Walton. The court order resulting from
this hearing states in part:
"..the defendant shall submit a status report to the Court and the
plaintiffs by July 19, 2006, outlining the efforts it has taken to
comply with the Circuit's mandate. Accordingly, this status report shall
identify the laboratory selected by the defendant to perform the testing
called for by the Circuit, how long this entity will take to complete
the required analysis, and what additional tasks, if any, the defendant
will have to complete to comply with the Circuit's mandate."
The complete text of the District Court order of April 20, 2006 can be
found on the TRA and NAR websites.
As the court order indicates, BATFE will further be required to report
on their rulemaking status (the completion of which has been repeatedly
deferred by the agency), and will be required to appear at a status
hearing on July 26, 2006. It is our belief that since this litigation
has dragged on for such an extended period of time, is the most aged
case on Judge Walton's docket, and the agency has shown little firm
commitment to finalizing legal rulemaking, that the judge is unlikely to
be tolerant of additional delays. Our counsel will continue to press for
firm and speedy deadlines as the agency presents whatever plan of action
they intend to pursue.
Again, our thanks to NAR and TRA members for the support you have
rendered in this fight. As our case proceeds through this hopefully
decisive phase, we need your continued financial support. We urge you to
make a donation to the Legal Defense Fund today, in whatever amount you
possibly can contribute. Your support and generosity will be recognized
and acknowledged, and you'll be able to say "I supported the fight for
an unregulated sport rocket hobby."
Ken Good, President Tripoli Rocketry Association
Mark Bundick, President National Association of Rocketry
Source: TRA and NAR Joint Statement
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