From: "Mark B. Bundick"
Date: Tue, 20 May 2003 04:29:37 -0500 Subject: [NAR_Sections] Further Info on NPRM Comments Some folks requested reposting of information about what to put in their response, and the details about where to send it. What follows is an abbreviated version of a joint NAR / TRA statement issued back in March. I modified the dates to correspond to the new closing period. When I have the final version of the NAR's comment letter, I'll post that as well. Cheers, Bunny = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = BATFE is required by law to address all substantive comments received from all interested parties, and must directly address the concerns raised in public comments. While both NAR and TRA will offer comments on behalf of our Associations as a whole, members are strongly encouraged to offer their own individual comments. The following non-exclusive list of issues and ideas is presented to stimulate those comments: * Identify and discuss the reasons for and length of time you have been engaged in the model rocket hobby, and the enjoyment you receive as a result of that participation. * Describe the type of rockets and rocket motors you have flown and are currently flying, why you prefer certain types or sizes of rockets and rocket motors, and how often you fly them. * Quantify the amount of APCP (or other type of rocket motor fuel) that you typically have on-hand -- with a particular focus on, for example, a recommendation (see below) for revising the proposed exemption to address the total amount stored as opposed to the weight of or type of rocket motors. * Discuss the safety controls to which you adhere with regard to purchasing, storing, transporting, and flying rockets and rocket motors, including any specific memberships in national organizations and what such membership means to you in terms of safety. * Identify and discuss the nature of your interactions with BATFE, including as applicable applying for permits or licenses and participating in site inspections. * Identify and discuss the timing of those interactions, for example, when did you first start dealing with BATFE, how have those relationships changed over time, and what problems or difficulties you may have encountered. * Quantify the approximate amount of money you spend each year on the hobby, and if possible specify what amounts you spend on safety and what amounts you spend on compliance with BATFE's requests. * If possible and as appropriate, comment on the specific effect that BATFE's proposed rule will have on you or others you know, including for example restrictions on continued enjoyment of the hobby, increased costs to participate in the hobby, etc. * If possible, respond to BATFE's position that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic effect on small businesses by identifying specific effects of which you are aware -- for example, your hobby shop will no longer carry what you need -- and any associated impacts of which you are aware -- for example, limiting or wholly precluding your future purchases, or increasing their cost. Be as specific and detailed as possible by providing names and dates, quote (as nearly as possible) oral statements that were made to you, refer to specific documents (but attach them only if necessary and if not lengthy), and include specific dollar amounts as appropriate. Your letter should conclude with an opinion on the proposed rulemaking that is based upon your specific comments. In that regard, please be aware that the hobby's position, as reflected in documents filed on behalf of the national organizations in the ongoing litigation with BATFE, is that BATFE lacks the legal authority to regulate APCP in rocket motors as an explosive because: 1. APCP does not "function by explosion," which is the operative phrase used in the governing statute that would be the basis for regulation, and 2. Rockets are "propellant actuated devices," which is the term of art long used to describe certain items that are wholly exempt from BATFE's explosives regulations. Accordingly, Tripoli Rocketry Association, Inc. and National Association of Rocketry do not believe that BATFE's proposed rulemaking is properly grounded in the law. Nevertheless, given BATFE's unwillingness to accept to that position (until, hopefully, the Court so orders), your comments should also include recommendations for improving upon the proposed rule. Any such recommendations should be based upon your comments. For example, you might suggest that certain words be changed or deleted, including the applicability of the exemption to single use motors or reload kits. Alternatively, you could propose increasing the exempted weight limit from 62.5 grams to another suitable number. In that regard, consider whether a "blanket" exemption for a total amount of APCP, regardless of motor size or characteristic, would better serve your particular interests and needs. Procedure for Submitting Your Comments Only written (as opposed to oral) comments are to be submitted. (However, if you desire an opportunity to comment orally, a request to that effect may be included in your comments.) Your written comments should be addressed to: ATTN: Notice No. 968 James P. Ficaretta, Program Manager Room 5150 U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives P.O. Box 50221 Washington, D.C. 20091-0221 In addition, your written comments should be titled, "Response to Notice of Proposed Rulemaking No. 968, Commerce in Explosives (2000R-9P), 68 Fed. Reg. 4406 (Jan. 29, 2003)." You may submit your comments in one of three forms: * by letter mailed via the U.S. mail to the above specified address; * by facsimile transmission to (202) 927-8525; or * by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that if you are submitting comments via facsimile transmission, your comments cannot be longer than five pages. Also, be aware that email submission of NPRM comments is a recent, and relatively untested method of submission. There could be technological bugs involved in this process, and as a result, we recommend submission of written comments, not email comments. Your written comments need not be typed; however, they should be legible when printed on standard 8.5" x 11" paper. (Although not required by BATFE's Notice, if you are emailing your comments it is recommended that you prepare your comments using a word processing software program if possible and to then attach that file to the email transmission as opposed to submitting your comments in the text portion of an email message.) Your comments must be signed and include your name and mailing address. However, if you are submitting your comments via email, in lieu of a signature you should provide your email address. Please note that the entirety of your comments are public -- nothing will be treated as confidential -- and that includes your name. Therefore, any materials that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for disclosure to the public should not be submitted. Finally, be advised that in order for your comments to be considered they must be received by BATFE in Washington, D.C. no later than Friday, June 13, 2003. If you are submitting your comments via email or facsimile transmission they can be "sent" on the date they are due, however, it is recommended that you do so at least one day early so as to ensure they are received. (Please note that BATFE will not be verifying receipt via email or facsimile transmission, so you will have to check on your side to see that indeed the submittal "went through.") If you are submitting your comments via the U.S. mail, to ensure their receipt by this date it is recommended that you mail your comments no later than Saturday, June 7, 2003.
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