what goes a round, comes back around

The folllowing is an excerpt form the June 1995 issue of Model Rocketeer by Mark Bundick:
Current Regulations: The following items are considered exempt from BATF regulation:
1. black powder motors with less than or equal to 62.5 grams propellant,
2. Amonnium perchlorate (aka "composite" or "AP") single use motors of less than 80 Newton-seconds total impulse (i.e., F motors), which also contain less than or equal to 62.5 grams propellant.
3. AP reload modules where individual reload modules are less than 62.5 grams each, total propellant weight in the assembled motor less than or equal to 62.5 grams, and total impulse less than or equal to 80 Newton-seconds.
If your flying activities are confined to these motors, you are completely exempt from any BATF storage or use regulations.
All other motor usage requires you to obtain a Low Explosives Users Permit (LEUP) and comply with applicable storage regulations. In particular, the following conditions require a BATF Low Explosives Users Permit and proper explosives storage:
1. AP single use motors with more than 62.5 grams propellant;
2. AP reload modules which are equal to or more than 62.5 grams each;
3. AP reload modules which are less than 62.5 grams each but where the total assembled motor propellant weight is greater than or equal to 62.5 grams and total impule.
Am I imiagining things ? or is this exactly the regulation that became law on 10/10/06 ?
So lets review, what the BATfe said was law in june 95 is the law that was passed in oct 2006. And wasn't there a lawsuit going on for at least 6 of these years?
From what I can tell from the NAR Financials, approx $219K has been donated since 1999; $269K has been spent on the lawsuit; I'm not sure where the approx $50K difference between these 2 figures came from: I assume its the NAR dues increase as these figures do not differentiate between legal expenses between the lawsuit and the 1 time legislative charges we had. I might add that we are paying our lawyers $400 per hour for 150 hrs work per year. Since this is a joint NAR/TRA lawsuit, and the NAR is paying 50% of the costs, then I also assume that between the TRA and the NAR, approx $500K plus has been spent so far between both entities. And what do we have to show for it? The BATFe regulations in effect in June 1995 are exactly the regulations that are in effect in October 2006.
So what exactly are we getting for our money? A $500K investment in determining that APCP is not an explosive? Folks if we, and by we, I mean the NAR/TRA doesn't get APCP off the explosives listing, then we will have spent over 1/2 million dollars for nothing! Think about that for a moment. I think the $500K would have been better spent on a National Model Rocketry Museum.....
terry dean nar 16158
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"Old Rocketeer's don't die; they just go OOP"



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IANAL But...
If NAR/TRA can establish judicial misbehavior on the part of ATF, they could possibly recover lawyers' fees and court costs.
It depends on the judge. The closest thing to an absolute dictator in the USA is a sitting judge in his own court. And from some of the accounts of this debacle, Judge Walton is not very happy with ATF for dragging this matter on for so long.
Bill Sullivan
"Ho! Ha-ha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! Ha! Thrust!" --D. Duck
shockwaveriderz wrote:

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Even more reason for the ATF to negotiate a settlement NOW. As it is the judge has to report to his superiors and Congress on why this case is taking so long. The longer it takes the more scrutiny it will get. And when it comes out that the ATF submitted a High School Level Science Report (possibly written by the previous Director's Nephew) to defend the agency's method for quantifying what is and isn't explosive (net, it burns faster than a candle and slower than BP) that resulted in the ATF losing the lawsuit AND getting slapped with judicial misbehavior... that can't be good for anyone's career.
It is time for the ATF to call a settlement conference to minimize its losses.
The Rocket Scientist wrote:

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Then why the heck did he give them until NEXT JULY????
-- David
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wrote:

He didn't give them anything. It is because of his case load.
Phil
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shockwaveriderz wrote:

[snip]
Well there was the whole confusion about "easy access" motors (which the ATF says never existing and was just a clerical mistake that they fixed). But a BIG difference is that prior to the so-called "Safe Explosives" act I could buy anything I wanted within my home state without a permit. I had to have proper storage of course. I couldn't cross the state line with it, but within the state I only had to worry about state laws. Now Big Brother has invoked the Commerce Clause to restrict my intrastate activities. There goes the 10th amendment.

It probably cost the Government more than that!
We haven't lost yet. I haven't seen the final report but all of the experts on our side say that you test APCP all you want and it will not explode. We have science on our side and a Judge that is under the judicial microscope (longest running court case, successfully appealed once, etc..) to make sure the case is legally pristine.
If I were running the ATF I would cut my loses today and offer a compromise where we could purchase commercial rocket motors without a permit but with dealer maintained paper trail of who purchased what, when, etc.. Up to 2lbs of BP and 50lbs of rocket motors could be stored without a permit (subject to local and state laws of course). Over 5lbs of APCP would require a wooden storage box with sides of at least 1". This would save the government a lot of money and could possibly save the careers of the folks at the ATF that will eventually lose the lawsuit. If the court finds that the ATF has no consistent and scientific standard to determine what is and isn't an explosive they may be forced to test everything on the explosives list. I bet that will look good on some civil servant's fitness report. The risk to the ATF is great if they lose, possibly costing the US Government millions in required testing. The risk to them if they compromise is small. The revenue they get from us isn't significant and all it does is prevent their agents from doing real explosives investigations.
But I'm not running the ATF. So I'll donate to the defense fund to keep this lawsuit going as long as it takes. It doesn't affect my ability to fly since I am legal regardless of the outcome. But on principle we need to stand up and resist this unreasonable invasion into our hobby. If we don't fight now for APCP will we have to fight tomorrow for something else? Or will the precidence be set?
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OK.
You are very, VERY upset.
Is your public posting a call for OTHERS to physically do something with you leading the charge? (A General in the lead)
Or are you just posting publicly so that others will get upset and go do something without you leading the charge? (A "leader" like OBL? Or perhaps a science fiction "Hindmost"?) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindmost
Or, perhaps YOU should be leading the legal and legislative teams and appearing in court? After all, the association(s) leaders and lawyers are incompetent! You have proven it!
You must take over and save us all.
Hurry! Before our medication wears off!
-Fred Shecter NAR 20117
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shockwaveriderz wrote:

Yes you are. Notice the reference to 80 N-s total impulse above? It isn't in the new regulations.
Besides. That is the fantasy that the ATF wanted to be reality. The reality was the toy propellant device exemption which lasted until this month. If things were as listed above, ask yourself why the ATF never attempted to take an enforcement action against Aerotech for violating it with "Easy Access". The simple answer is because they didn't have a leg to stand on. Just fantasy.

Unfortunately, many government agencies and Congress are content to pass regulations or laws that are not supported by legislation or the constitution and then let the courts sort it out. Then to add to the mess we get idiots complaining about "activist judges".
It is a lousy way to do business but the best one civilization has come up with so far.
The alternative to spending money on lawyers is to roll over and play dead. Given the complete intellectual bankruptcy of the memorandum to the court, the ATF is going to lose this case and APCP will be removed from the list of explosives. It is also likely that the judge will award attorney's fees in which case maybe you will get your museum.
--
David W. Schultz
http://home.earthlink.net/~david.schultz /
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wrote:

What's Shockie's address? I have some old rocket junk I need to get rid of. I should make a great exhibit for the museum.
Phil
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Phil Stein wrote:

Phil,
Does this mean you are going to be stuffed after you pass on/go OOP? :-)
Kurt
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I doubt that I'll be to concerned about it at that point.
Phil
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Kurt wrote:

Gus has been trying to stuff Phil for several years...(:-)
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W. E. Fred Wallace wrote:

Just the other way 'round, Cletus
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Gus wrote:

If I run into Cletus, I'll pass it on..(:-)
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On Thu, 19 Oct 2006 17:52:15 -0400, "W. E. Fred Wallace"

Sucks for Gus - I don't bat or catch for his team.
Phil
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Phil Stein wrote:

Sure didn't take much to smoke old Gus out, did it?? (:-)
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David Schultz wrote:

And hopefully some pencil pushing bureaucrats will lose their jobs. If science has any influence in this case, the ATF is going to lose big time. Any District Attorney with a similar outlook would call a settlement conference ASAP and start damage control.
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David, I think you are very perceptive and thorough in your analysis, so the fact that you think we will win this case is very heartening. Even if it does take until next July (or longer).
-- David <snip shockie's stuff>

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Or it could just be wishful thinking on my part. :-)
In any case, I have had a permit since 1997 so I can keep flying whatever I want to. I am also thinking about what I can do to help folks wanting to get into high power.
David wrote:

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The phrase "cold dead hands" comes to mind.

I know we asked to recover costs in the original lawsuit. I heard form someone that costs are not only legal costs, but other costs as well, including damages to business that suffered as a result of this illegal regulation. To start with, I'd like all my license and compliance expenses reimbursed. And all of the info that ATF collected on me expunged, including my fingerprint records.
--
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L >>> To reply, there's no internet on Mars (yet)! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle: http://nira-rocketry.org/Document/MayJun00.pdf
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