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Proposed “Safety” Regulations Would Dry Up Ammunition Sales

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed new rules that would have a dramatic effect on the storage and transportation of ammunition and handloading components such as primers or black and smokeless powder. The proposed rule indiscriminately treats ammunition, powder and primers as “explosives.” Among many other provisions, the proposed rule would:
  • Prohibit possession of firearms in commercial “facilities containing explosives”—an  obvious problem for your local gun store.
  • Require evacuation of all “facilities containing explosives”—even your local Wal-Mart—during any electrical storm.
  • Prohibit smoking within 50 feet of “facilities containing explosives.”

It’s important to remember this is only a proposed rule right now, so there’s still time for concerned citizens to speak out before OSHA issues its final rule. The National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute will all be commenting on these proposed regulations, based on the severe effect these regulations (if finalized) would have on the availability of ammunition and reloading supplies to safe and responsible shooters.

The public comment period was originally scheduled to end July 12 but has been extended sixty (60) days until September 10, 2007. To read the OSHA proposal click here (PDF file). 

According to OSHA, you may submit comments, identified by Docket No. OSHA-2007- 0032, by any of the following methods:

  • Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions on-line for making electronic submissions.
  • Fax: If your comments, including attachments, do not exceed 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.
  • Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger or courier service: You must submit three copies of your comments and attachments to:
    OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032
    U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625
    200 Constitution Avenue, NW.
    Washington, DC 20210
    telephone (202) 693-2350 (OSHA"s TTY number is (877) 889-5627). 

Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and the docket number for this rulemaking (Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032). All comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions you about submitting personal information such as social security numbers and birthdates.

For further information on submitting comments, plus additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of the OSHA proposal.

-----------------------------

OSHA Docket Office Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032 U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625 200 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, DC 20210

Re.: Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032 (Explosives—Proposed Rule)

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing in strong opposition to OSHA’s proposed rules on “explosives,” which go far beyond regulating true explosives. These proposed rules would impose severe restrictions on the transportation and storage of small arms ammunition—both complete cartridges and handloading components such as black and smokeless powder, primers, and percussion caps. These restrictions go far beyond existing transportation and fire protection regulations.

As a person who uses ammunition and components, I am very concerned that these regulations will have a serious effect on my ability to obtain these products. OSHA’s proposed rules would impose restrictions that very few gun stores, sporting goods stores, or ammunition dealers could comply with. (Prohibiting firearms in stores that sell ammunition, for example, is absurd—but would be required under the proposed rule.)

The proposed transportation regulations would also affect shooters’ ability to buy these components by mail or online, because shipping companies would also have great difficulty complying with the proposed rules.

There is absolutely no evidence of any new safety hazard from storage or transportation of small arms ammunition or components that would justify these new rules. I also understand that organizations with expertise in this field, such as the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Association, will be submitting detailed comments on this issue. I hope OSHA will listen to these organizations’ comments as the agency develops a final rule on this issue.

Sincerely,

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