I'm not sure how many have heard this since the ruling came out in June.  It may mean ammo will get expensive if this continues.

kwg

http://www.ammoland.com/2016/0...-laws/#axzz4IxSrBBkk

ATF Reclassifies Wetted Nitrocellulose as Explosive Materials Under Federal Laws

Wetted Nitrocellulose Reclassified by ATF

Washington, DC
ATF Reclassifies Wetted Nitrocellulose as Explosive Materials Under Federal Explosive Laws

Washington, DC -(AmmoLand.com)- In an Explosives Industry Newsletter issued in June 2016, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) reclassified wetted nitrocellulose [also known as flash paper, flash cotton, guncotton, and flash string] containing greater than 12.6 percent nitrogen as a high explosive under the federal explosives laws.

As explained below, this is a dramatic and sudden change in agency policy with a significant impact on the ammunition industry. The new policy was announced in a newsletter without any opportunity for industry input.

I. Background

The federal explosives laws, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 40, regulate commerce in “explosive materials.” The term “explosive materials” is defined as explosives, blasting agents, and detonators. The term “explosives” is defined as any chemical compound mixture or device the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion. The definition requires ATF to publish an annual list of explosives that fit within the statutory definition. The 2015 List of Explosives is available at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/...3/pdf/2015-26994.pdf.

Exemptions from the requirements of the federal explosives laws are provided, in pertinent part, for: (1) the transportation, shipment, receipt, or importation of explosive materials for delivery to any federal or State agency; (2) for small arms ammunition and components thereof; and (3) for the manufacture under the regulation of the U.S. military of explosive materials for their official use.

The term “ammunition” is defined in 27 C.F.R. § 555.11 as follows:

“Small arms ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or smokeless propellants designed for use in small arms, including percussion caps, and 3/32 inch and other external burning pyrotechnic hobby fuses. The term does not include black powder.”

ATF’s longstanding position is that the small arms ammunition exemption applies only to .50 caliber or smaller rifle or handgun ammunition as well as certain shotgun ammunition. This position is clear in a June 2013 Explosive Industry Newsletter addressing exploding ammunition.

ATF Exploding Ammunition Wetted Nitrocellulose Requirements Newsletter
ATF Exploding Ammunition Wetted Nitrocellulose Requirements Newsletter

ATF also exempts other components of small arms ammunition from the requirements of the law and regulations, but only if such components are listed in the definition of “ammunition” in 27 C.F.R. § 555.11. This means that smokeless powder and primers are exempt from record keeping and storage requirements. However, other explosive materials used to manufacture ammunition will not be exempt until incorporated into one of the components of ammunition listed in the regulation, including smokeless powder or a complete round of small arms ammunition. Thus, wetted nitrocellulose containing greater than 12.6 percent nitrogen may be lawfully shipped, transported, or received only by persons holding federal explosives licenses or permits. Nitrocellulose must be recorded in records of acquisition in accordance with 27 C.F.R. § 555.123(b). The wetted nitrocellulose must also be recorded in the daily summary of magazine transactions required by 27 C.F.R. 555.127 and stored in storage magazines meeting the construction, tables of distance, and other requirements of storage regulations in 27 C.F.R. Part 555. At the point the nitrocellulose is incorporated into smokeless powder or a complete round of ammunition, it is exempt from the requirements of the record keeping, storage, and other requirements of federal law and regulations.

II. ATF Newsletter Article

The June 2016 newsletter article [see image above] states that ATF was recently asked about the status of nitrocellulose under the federal explosives laws and regulations. The article notes that “Nitrocellulose explosive” is on ATF’s List of Explosive Materials and states ATF has determined that “nitrocellulose containing greater than 12.6 percent nitrogen is a high explosive under 27 C.F.R. Part 555.” The article indicates ATF is aware that the U.S. Department of Transportation may assign a nonexplosive classification to nitrocellulose when it has been wetted with water or alcohol, based, in part, on the diminished likelihood of explosion in a transportation accident. However, because nitrocellulose retains its explosive characteristics when the water or alcohol is removed, the wetted nitrocellulose remains a nitrocellulose explosive subject to all controls of the federal explosives laws. Because of the diminished likelihood of wetted nitrocellulose exploding, “ATF will consider variance requests to store the wetted material under an alternative arrangement.”

III. Impact of ATF Reclassification of Wetted Nitrocellulose

Manufacturers and importers of smokeless propellant have relied on ATF private letter rulings issued prior to 2016 stating that nitrocellulose wetted with water not less than 25 percent by mass is not subject to regulation under the federal explosives laws. Accordingly, the manufacturers have set up their logistics, storage and operations consistent with nitrocellulose not being regulated as an explosive. Manufacturers and importers may not have adequate storage facilities or record keeping systems to comply with the law. Licensed manufacturers also rely on private, unlicensed vendors to store wetted nitrocellulose in facilities that do not comply with storage requirements. A number of manufacturers also report an adverse impact on their contracts to supply smokeless propellant and finished rounds of ammunition to the Department of Defense.

Publication of the change in classification in an industry newsletter without advance notice has left manufacturers scrambling to determine what standards ATF will allow for alternate storage and record keeping and to obtain permits for unlicensed storage vendors. In the meantime, manufacturers and importers are violating federal law, as ATF allowed no grace period for coming into compliance. We note that ATF has authorized such periods in the past when changing agency positions. For example, see ATF’s November 12, 2010 Open Letter regarding explosive pest control devices.

 

IV. Conclusion

ATF’s sudden and unexpected change in policy on wetted nitrocellulose will likely have a significant impact on industry’s ability to deliver products to the military and commercial markets. Industry members have relied on the exemption for wetted nitrocellulose for many years and are aware of no accidental detonations or diversion of this product into illicit channels. Consequently, it is unclear why ATF believed it necessary to change its policy and, more importantly, why ATF announced the change in a newsletter article with no advance notice to industry.

We are working with ATF to address the issues raised in this alert, including a possible agency announcement of delayed enforcement. We will notify our readers of any developments in the future.

About Reeves & Dola:

Reeves & Dola is a Washington, DC law firm that specializes in helping clients navigate the highly regulated and complex world of manufacturing, sales and international trade of defense and commercial products. We have a deep understanding of the Federal regulatory process, and use our expertise in working with a variety of Federal agencies to assist our clients with their transactional and regulatory needs.

For more information, visit: www.ReevesDola.com.


Update August 31st 2016 from ATF (h/t Jeff Knox)

Tagged: , , , , 35 Comments



Read more: http://www.ammoland.com/2016/0...-laws/#ixzz4IxTmuuhU

Liberalism is the ideology of western suicide.

James Burnham

Original Post

My personal take is that the author is being a little overly dramatic, which isn't surprising considering the source is a law firm that specializes in handling this area of law and is probably hoping to scare up some new clients.

I'm not saying I'm in favor of this regulation, but I don't think this is really a big ask. A company that is producing ammunition in any quantity shouldn't have an issue obtaining the appropriate user permits or FEL.

There is more to this than the permits and license, there are storage requirements and record keeping regulations that come with it, and the compliance cost to meet those requirements is the reason everyone expects prices to go up.

I am at a loss why the BATF is doing this, loaded small arms ammunition is treated almost as an afterthought in 40 and 47 CFL for storage or shipping purposes. Hell, under 50 lbs total weight for 1.4S all you need to do is slap on an ORM-D label and you are good to go as far as the DoT is concerned. You don't even need to placard the vehicle.

I suspect this is yet another notch in the gradually ever tightening regulatory red tape strapping that the bureaucrats are using to make being in the firearms industry just too much of a hassle to deal with.  Operation Choke Point is another front in this line of attack, as is the recent ITAR changes by the State Department.

UnknownSailor posted:

There is more to this than the permits and license, there are storage requirements and record keeping regulations that come with it, and the compliance cost to meet those requirements is the reason everyone expects prices to go up.

I am at a loss why the BATF is doing this, loaded small arms ammunition is treated almost as an afterthought in 40 and 47 CFL for storage or shipping purposes. Hell, under 50 lbs total weight for 1.4S all you need to do is slap on an ORM-D label and you are good to go as far as the DoT is concerned. You don't even need to placard the vehicle.

I suspect this is yet another notch in the gradually ever tightening regulatory red tape strapping that the bureaucrats are using to make being in the firearms industry just too much of a hassle to deal with.  Operation Choke Point is another front in this line of attack, as is the recent ITAR changes by the State Department.

I've seen this said in other places but I don't really buy the argument. Wouldn't a business be keeping track of their inventory of components anyway? My understanding of the record keeping components in a broad sense is that their acquisition and disposition need to be documented, similar to an FFL. I.E. 6 ounces of substance X was used in the creation of batch number XXX of product Z. Never having run a business, but just thinking of what would be required to know your cost per unit, it seems to me like you would have been doing that long before they asked.

The ITAR regulations concern exporting, I guess my assumption is that most ammunition manufacturers are either not involved in exporting, or so large that this isn't something they don't already have people doing.

Correct me if I'm wrong.  Gun cotton is used to manufacture gun powder.  Once the gun cotton is expended producing the powder it no longer will be classified as an explosive.  The catch is that what was treated as a component for storage and shipping purposes will now be an explosive subject to being stored in bunkers, shipped in special trucks and logged similar to firearms transactions with the requisite record storage regulations.  All of which will make production of gun powder more difficult and expensive here in the USA.

I don't believe that there has been a change for gun powder itself just a component.  Much of the powder we use now is produced over seas  so there won't be a huge problem.  Yet.  Till someone Hopey / Changey type issues an executive order regarding imports.

The thing to bear in mind is that HRC has suggested that handgun ammunition should be subject to a substantial tax and that there should be no mail order sales of ammunition.  Add in less production of gun powder here in the CONUS , throttle imports to a trickle for commercial sales to a trickle and we'll all end up ccw-ing sling shots.

 

Good news:  BATF backs off.  kwg

http://bulletin.accurateshoote...der-classifications/

ATF Defers Change to Smokeless Powder Classifications

NRA ILA ATF BATFE Bureau Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Wetted Nitrocellulose
Smokeless Powder Photo courtesy GunsAmerica.com, Reloading Powder Feature.

There has been a hue and cry on some internet sites about changes in smokeless powder classifications by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Writers have been concerned that recent interpretations by the ATF would make it much more difficult to store and transport reloading powders, which in turn could lead to price increases and/or powder shortages.

There is good news. According to the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, the ATF has tabled its proposal to classify Nitrocellulose-based smokeless powders as “high explosives”. Since “high explosives” are subject to more stringent rules, such re-classification would alter the way common smokeless propellants could be lawfully stored and transported. The NRA ILA says the ATF has backed off, so that current practices for powder storage and transport can continue unchanged. Thus hand-loaders should NOT face an impending powder shortage and/or price hikes. Here is the NRA ILA’s report:

ATF Delays Any Changes to Nitrocellulose Regulation
Earlier this summer, ATF released an Explosives Industry Newsletter that changed the agency’s treatment of nitrocellulose, the primary component in smokeless powders used in modern ammunition. This change had the potential to seriously disrupt ammunition supply in the United States because it changed a long-standing ATF policy that exempted properly “wetted” nitrocellulose from treatment as an explosive under federal law.

NRA and [shooting industry representatives] raised these concerns to ATF and any change in ATF’s treatment of nitrocellulose is now officially delayed. In an addendum to the earlier newsletter, ATF announced that it “will conduct further industry outreach concerning wetted Nitrocellulose. In the interim, previously authorized industry practices concerning wetted Nitrocellulose will NOT be affected.”

While the addendum doesn’t indicate that ATF has permanently abandoned this change to nitrocellulose regulation, smokeless powder manufacturers will be permitted to continue normal operation, at least for the time being. NRA will continue to work to ensure that any future change to nitrocellulose regulation will not affect ammunition supply.

ATF Industry Newsletter Caused Concern
The cause for firearms industry concern was the ATF’s statement about Nitrocellulose published in the June 2016 ATF Explosives Industry Newsletter. The key language is shown in the right column below. According to the NRA ILA, the ATF has, at least for the time being, decided NOT to change its policies regarding the storage and transport of “wetted” Nitrocellulose. Accordingly, “smokeless powder manufacturers will be permitted to continue normal operation”.

NRA ILA ATF BATFE Bureau Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Wetted Nitrocellulose

They didn't decide not to change it, they pointed out that at no point in time did they ever intend to change the way it affected the ammunition industry. That was an assumption made by a law firm who's primary business would have benefited from their misinterpretation of a response from a Q&A.

Add Reply

Likes (0)
Post
Copyright Lightfighter Tactical Forum 2002-2019
×
×
×
×
×