For release: July 29, 2003
Enzi decries hobby rocket opposition
Washington, D.C. -U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. disagreed with two
senators' efforts to block legislation introduced by Enzi that would
shield some model rocket enthusiasts from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulations that have threatened the
U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. held
a news conference today promoting regulation of hobby rocketry.
Enzi made the following comments after the news conference.
"It's a sad state of affairs when we see a government agency and
senators go to such lengths to squash efforts to preserve a
constructive, educational and important hobby enjoyed by millions of
Americans. This kind of opposition to my legislation serves to
discourage innovation and darken spirits. It doesn't make Americans
that much safer, but it does make us more fearful and less free.
"When I introduced this bill I hoped it would pass quickly. I thought
that surely it was not Congress' intent when it passed the Homeland
Security Act to make it more difficult for young people to enjoy model
rocketry and hobby shop owners to make a living, but it appears this
was the intent of at least two members.
"You can drag out all the dressed-up props you want, high-powered
rockets are already regulated and this would not change under my bill.
My legislation, after modification and passage by the Judiciary
Committee, represents a compromise that takes into account the
concerns of other senators regarding potential terrorist activity even
though there is no known pattern of attempts by terrorists to use
unguided hobby rockets as weapons. My bill would simply allow
rocketeers to transport and purchase rocket motors that contain less
than .9 pounds (409.5 grams) of APCP rocket propellant without being
required to obtain a permit from the ATF.
"My bill is not a license to build bombs and the senators know it. A
National Research Council study, Containing the Threat from Illegal
Bombings, listed the top 29 common explosive and precursor chemicals
with demonstrated potential and history of criminal use. It did not
list APCP or recommend controls on it. Everyone is entitled to their
own opinions, but not their own facts.
"My colleagues must be hearing complaints from back home about their
holdup of my bill. I hope rocketeers will continue to educate their
elected leaders about the merits of my legislation. I will continue
to work to pass this common sense bill."
- posted 18 years ago