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New OSHA Rulemaking-Black & Smokeless Powder, Primers, Ammo

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http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main
Go to the Option 4 drop down menu and select "Document ID"
Key this ID in to the action box ... OSHA-2007-0032
Click on the SUBMIT button

OSHA has proposed rules that may adversely affect the transportation of black and smokeless powder, primers and small arms ammunition, and may affect prices and availability. Below are some sections of the proposed rule (55 PDF pages) that I felt had a direct impact on shooters.

Comments in italics are mine. Bolding is also mine.

Explosive. This term would be defined to mean any device, or liquid
or solid chemical compound or mixture, the primary or common purpose of
which is to function by explosion. The term ``explosive'' would be
defined to include all material included as a Class 1 explosive by DOT
in accordance with 49 CFR chapter I. The term would include, but would
not be limited to, dynamite, black powder, pellet powders, detonators,
blasting agents, initiating explosives, blasting caps, safety fuse,
fuse lighters, fuse igniters, squibs, cordeau detonant fuse,
instantaneous fuse, igniter cord, igniters, pyrotechnics, special
industrial explosive materials, small arms ammunition, small arms
ammunition primers, smokeless propellant
, cartridges for propellant-
actuated power devices, and cartridges for industrial guns.

Paragraph (c)(1)(ii) would require the employer to ensure that only
persons trained in accordance with paragraph (j) of this section handle
or use explosives. Loading and unloading of explosives are examples of
handling, and blasting of slag pockets is an example of the use of
explosives. This is a new requirement that reinforces the importance of
training for all employees engaged in the handling and use of
explosives.

Paragraph (c)(1)(vii) would require the employer to ensure that no
person is allowed to enter facilities containing explosives, or to
transport, handle, or use explosives while under the influence of
intoxicating liquors, narcotics, or other drugs that may cause the
person to act in an unsafe manner in the workplace. Due to safety
considerations, OSHA is proposing that such persons be completely
restricted from access to a facility where explosives are manufactured
or stored as well as restricting them from the handling and
transportation of explosives.
This would appear to require some sort of drug testing to be in compliance.

Paragraph (c)(1)(ix) would require the employer to ensure that no
flammable cleaning solvents are present in facilities containing
explosives except where authorized by the employer and where their
presence does not endanger the safety of employees. This is a new
requirement and is based on a recommendation in the Petition (Ex. 2-1).
Due to their potential to create a fire and thus cause an explosion, it
is generally not safe to have flammable cleaning solvents in facilities
containing explosives.

Paragraph (c)(2)(i) would require the employer to ensure that the
primary electrical supply to any part of the facility (e.g., building,
loading dock, etc.) containing explosives can be disconnected at a safe
remote location away from that part of the facility. A safe remote
location from a part of the facility containing explosives is a
location far enough away to ensure that, if all the explosives in that
part of the facility detonated, a person at the remote location would
not be injured by the explosion. In determining what a safe remote
location is, the employer will need to consider factors such as the
type and amount of explosives present.
This is a new requirement
Would this even be possible in a small gunshop?

Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(ii) deals with safety hazards caused by
electrical storms. During the approach and progress of an electrical
storm, paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(A) would require the employer to ensure
that all explosive manufacturing and blasting operations are suspended,
and paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(B) would require the employer to ensure that
employees located in or near facilities containing explosives, or in
blast sites, are withdrawn immediately to a safe remote location. A
safe remote location in this case would be a location far enough away
from all the explosives in the facility or blast site so that a person
would not be injured if there were an explosion. These proposed
requirements are based on therequirements in existing paragraph (e)(1)(vii)(a) which requires
employers to remove employees from the blasting area during the
approach and progress of an electrical storm. However, proposed
paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(A) has been expanded to require the suspension of
explosive manufacturing operations and proposed paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(B)
also requires the immediate withdrawal of employees located near
explosives. This reduces the time the employees are exposed to a
potential hazard. The expansion of the existing requirement is in
recognition that an electrical storm may be hazardous to employees at
facilities and blast sites containing explosives and that employees
need to be kept a safe distance away from a potential explosion. This
is standard practice in the industry and is consistent with a
recommendation in the Petition (Ex. 2-1).

Static electricity as a potential source of ignition is probably
the single greatest concern for facilities and blast sites containing
explosives. The Petition (Ex. 2-1) recommends new requirements for
static electricity protection that would require any new static
electricity protection system to comply with NFPA 77, Static
Electricity (Ex. 2-7). However, it recommended limiting the application
of the requirements only to systems installed after the effective date
of the new standard and would not require an existing manufacturing
facility to install a new system or modify an existing system to meet
the requirements of NFPA 77. IME informed OSHA that certain explosives
are not static-sensitive and do not require protection. IME further
argues that, since explosives manufacturing is subject to the
requirements of OSHA's PSM standard at Sec. 1910.119, areas in an
explosives manufacturing facility where static electricity protection
systems may be needed should already have been identified through the
process hazard analysis requirements of the PSM standard, and adequate
safeguards should have been instituted in accordance with the PSM
standard.
OSHA believes that static electricity protection systems can be
important safety features for facilities containing explosives. The
Agency considered proposing a requirement in paragraph (c) that would
require the employer to ensure that all facilities containing
explosives have appropriate and effective static electricity protection
systems, with suggested methods of compliance found in NFPA 77. The
Agency decided not to propose such language because it lacked
sufficient data and information on the types and effectiveness of
static electricity protection systems. OSHA is seeking additional
information on these issues through public comments.

The hazards of flame, matches, and spark producing devices are
dealt with in proposed paragraph (c)(3)(iii)(A) by requiring the
employer to ensure that no open flames, matches, or spark producing
devices are located within 50 feet of explosives or facilities
containing explosives. As mentioned earlier, ``facilities containing
explosives'' refers to any building on a site where explosives are
manufactured, handled or stored.
Stripsearch customers?

Issue #4: OSHA seeks specific comments on the impact proposed
paragraph (c)(3)(iii) would have on the storage and retail sale of
small arms ammunition, small arms primers, and smokeless propellants.
Do open flames, matches, or spark producing devices create a hazard
when located within 50 feet of small arms ammunition, small arms
primers, or smokeless propellants, or facilities containing these
products? Can employers involved in the storage or retail sale of small
arms ammunition, small arms primers, or smokeless propellants prevent
all open flames, matches, or spark producing devices from coming within
50 feet of these products or facilities containing these products? If
not, why not? Should proposed paragraph (c)(3)(iii) use a protective
distance other than 50 feet and, if so, what distance should it be and
why? Should OSHA exclude small arms ammunition, small arms primers, and
smokeless propellants from the requirements of proposed paragraph
(c)(3)(iii)?

Proposed paragraph (c)(3)(iii)(C) would require the employer to
ensure that no person carries firearms, ammunition, or similar articles
in facilities containing explosives
No armed employees in gunshops? No legally-armed customers? How about cops?

Issue #9: Should OSHA require lightning protection systems for any
facility that contains ammonium nitrate or explosives? What would these
systems cost?

Proposed paragraph (e)(1) addresses general provisions associated
with the transportation of explosives. Proposed paragraph (e)(1)(i)
would require the employer to ensure that no employee smokes, carries
matches or any other flame-producing device, or carries any firearms or
cartridges (except firearms and cartridges required to be carried by
guards) while in, or within 25 feet (7.63m) of, a vehicle containing
explosives.

Paragraph (e)(1)(iii) would require the employer to ensure that
explosives are not transferred from one vehicle to another without
informing local fire and police departments. This will help to ensure
that the transfer is performed in a safe manner. In addition, a
competent person must supervise the transfer of explosives. This is
applicable to all transfer work whether it is done within private
facilities or on public highways.
UPS, Fed-ex & DHL will just love this.

Proposed paragraph (h)(2) would require the employer to ensure that
small arms ammunition is separated from flammable liquids, flammable
solids, and oxidizing materials by a fire barrier wall with at least a
1-hour fire resistance rating or by a distance of at least 25 feet.
Small gunshops better get bigger.

Paragraph (h)(3)(i)(B) would require the employer to ensure that no
more than 20 pounds of smokeless propellants, in containers not to
exceed 1 pound, are displayed in a commercial establishment.

Paragraph (h)(4)(i)(B) would require the employer to ensure that
small arms ammunition primers be separated from flammable liquids,
flammable solids, and oxidizing materials by a fire barrier wall with
at least a 1-hour fire resistance rating or by a distance of at least
25 feet.

Paragraph (h)(4)(i)(C) would require the employer to ensure that no
more than 10,000 small arms primers be displayed in a commercial
establishment.

Issue #21: Proposed paragraphs (h)(3)(i)(B) and (h)(4)(i)(C) place
restrictions on the quantity of smokeless propellants and small arms
primers, respectively, that can be displayed in commercial
establishments. Should OSHA further clarify the quantity limitations
for smokeless propellants and small arms primers to allow multiple
displays in commercial establishments? If so, what quantities should be
allowed and should the quantities be based on the size of the
commercial establishment? Should there be a minimum distance between
displays to ensure employee safety? Should the same limitations placed
on commercial establishments also apply to gun shows?

Paragraph (j) Training. Proposed paragraph (j) is new and contains
proposed training requirements for employees in the explosives
industry.
This proposes training and re-training commensurate with each employee's duties and the requisite record-keeping.
********************************************************

From the National Shooting Sports Foundation:

Proposed OSHA Regulation Threatens
Firearm and Ammunition Industry

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the government agency charged with assuring the safety and health of America's workers, is proposing a regulatory rule affecting the manufacturing, transportation and storage of small arms ammunition, primers and smokeless propellants.

As written, the proposed rule would force the closure of nearly all ammunition manufacturers and force the cost of small arms ammunition to skyrocket beyond what the market could bearâ€"essentially collapsing our industry. This is not an exaggeration. The cost to comply with the proposed rule for the ammunition industry, including manufacturer, wholesale distributors and retailers, will be massive and easily exceed $100 million. For example, ammunition and smokeless propellant manufacturers would have to shut down and evacuate a factory when a thunderstorm approached and customers would not be allowed within 50 feet of any ammunition (displayed or otherwise stored) without first being searched for matches or lighters.

NSSF and SAAMI have already had a preliminary meeting with OSHA officials to begin the process of explaining to them the major problems this proposed rule presents for all levels of the firearms and ammunition industry. Furthermore, NSSF and SAAMI are each seeking a 60 day extension of the public comment period (currently scheduled to expire July 12).

NSSF is urging all retailers to contact OSHA directly and request a 60-day extension of the public comment period. Retailers should inform OSHA that the proposed rule constitutes a "significant regulatory action" as defined in Executive Order 12866 (1993) Section 3(f)(1) in that it will clearly "adversely affect in a material way" the retail sector of the firearms and ammunition industry, productivity, competition and jobs and that the annual compliance cost for all retailers of ammunition will far exceed $100 million dollars.

Click here for a template letter. If you choose to draft your own letter, the reference line must read as follows:

RE: Docket No. OSHAâ€"2007â€"0032
Request to Extend Public Comment Period and Request for Hearing on
"Significant Regulatory Action" as Defined in Executive Order 12866

Please fax the letter to: 202-693-1648 (include the docket number and Department of Labor/OSHA on the cover sheet and in the reference section of your letter).

Please e-mail the letter by visiting: http://www.regulations.gov and following the submission instructions.
http://www.nssf.org/news/PR_idx.cfm?...R=BP070207.cfm
 

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Here is the comment that I submitted:

I am aghast that OSHA would even propose such rule changes that would severely harm the shooting sports and the right to keep and bear arms. The proposed regulations would do nothing less than shut down many, if not most, sales of ammunition and reloading supplies at gun shops and sporting goods stores.

Here are some example items of concern:

(c)(2)(i)
Would this even be possible in a small gun shop or sporting goods store?

(c)(3)(iii)(A)
Will the owners of sporting goods stores and gun shops be required to search all customers for lighters and matches before allowing customers into their shops that contain ammunition and reloading supplies? Would these stores be prohibited from selling matches and lighters if they also sell small arms ammunition and reloading supplies?

(c)(3)(iii)(C)
Will private citizens and police who legally carry firearms for self-defense be required to leave their firearms behind when entering a gun shop or sporting goods store just because there is ammunition and reloading supplies for sale inside? Will gun shop owners and employees be required to remain disarmed within their own shops, making them tempting robbery targets?

(e)(1)(iii)
Would a carrier driver have to notify the fire and police departments for every delivery of ammunition or reloading supplies? This rule change could completely prevent the shipping industry, such as FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc. from delivering ammunition and reloading supplies to customers throughout the nation.

(h)(2)
Will small gun shops and small sporting goods stores be forced to move to larger facilities or cease to carry ammunition, black powder and reloading supplies?

(h)(3)(i)(B)
Whoever wrote this rule either does not understand the reloading industry or has the intent to harm this industry. Twenty pounds is a minuscule amount of smokeless propellants, especially given the varieties available for different purposes. This will harm retail establishments that sell reloading supplies as well as the customers who depend on them.

(h)(4)(i)(C)
Again, whoever wrote this rule does not understand the reloading industry or has the intent to harm this industry. Ten thousand primers is a very small amount for a store to display.

I am compelled to ask what evidence is there that existing laws and rules pertaining to small arms ammunition, reloading supplies and black powder have been insufficient to protect employees and customers of retail establishments? It is my assertion that small arms ammunition, reloading supplies and black powder should not be included in this proposed rule change at all.

This proposed rule is a disaster in the making and has the potential to destroy an entire industry, not to mention effectively disarming millions of law-abiding citizens. The way this proposed rule change is written has wide implications that were perhaps not intended. If these implications were indeed intended, then this is an egregious attempt at back-door gun-control, which would violate the civil rights of all American citizens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?ID=3145

Proposed “Safety” Regulations Would Dry Up Ammunition Sales

Tuesday, July 03, 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”â€"an obvious problem for your local gun store.
Prohibit delivery drivers from leaving explosives unattendedâ€"which would make it impossible for delivery services such as UPS to deliver ammunition or gun powder.
Require evacuation of all “facilities containing explosives”â€"even your local Wal-Martâ€"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’ Association 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 ends July 12. To file your own comment, or to learn more about the OSHA proposal, go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket Number OSHA-2007-0032”; you can read OSHA’s proposal and learn how to submit comments electronically, or by fax or mail.

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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 (Explosivesâ€"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 ammunitionâ€"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 absurdâ€"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. For instance, the rules against leaving any vehicle containing “explosives” unattended would make it impossible for companies such as United Parcel Service to deliver ammunition to businesses or consumers without massive changes in their operations (such as putting a second driver on any truck that might happen to deliver a case of shotgun shells).

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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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
http://a257.g.akamaitech.net:80/7/257/2 ... -13198.htm

[Federal Register: July 9, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 130)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 37155-37156]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr09jy07-16]

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Part 1910

[Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032 (Formerly Docket No. OSHA-S031-2006-0665 and
OSHA Docket No. S-031)]
RIN 1218-AC09

Explosives; Extension of Comment Period

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA),
Department of Labor.

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period.

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

SUMMARY: OSHA is extending the comment period for its proposed standard
on Explosives for an additional sixty (60) days until September 10,
2007.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted (postmarked or sent) by
September 10, 2007.

ADDRESSES: 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 the
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).
Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger and courier service) are
accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket Office's normal
business hours, 8:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m., E.T.
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 this document.
Docket: To read or download comments and materials submitted in
response to this Federal Register notice, go to Docket No. OSHA-2007-
0032 at http://www.regulations.gov or at the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. All comments and submissions are listed in the http://

http://www.regulations.gov index, however, some information (e.g., copyrighted

material) is not publicly available to read or download through that
Web page. All comments and submissions, including copyrighted material,
are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office.
For information on accessing exhibits referenced in the Explosives
proposal, see the ``Public Participation'' heading in the SUPPLEMENTARY
INFORMATION section of this document.
Electronic copies of this Federal Register document are available
at http://www.regulations.gov. Copies also are available from the OSHA

Office of Publications, Room N-3101, U.S. Department of Labor, 200
Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210;

[[Page 37156]]

telephone (202) 693-1888. This document, as well as news releases and
other relevant information, also are available at OSHA's Web page at
http://www.osha.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information and press
inquiries: Kevin Ropp, Office of Communications, Room N-3647, OSHA,
U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC
20210; telephone (202) 693-1999. For technical inquiries: Donald
Pittenger, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, Room N-3609, OSHA,
U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC
20210; telephone (202) 693-2255 or fax (202) 693-1663.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Extension of Comment Period

On April 13, 2007, OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking
to revise the Explosives standard (72 FR 18792). In that notice, the
Agency provided the public with ninety (90) days to submit written
comments, until July 12, 2007. Several interested persons have
requested an extension of the deadline for submitting comments
explaining that they needed additional time to gather information and
provide a thorough review and response to the proposed standard. OSHA
is providing an additional sixty (60) days for the submission of
comments. Accordingly, written comments must now be submitted (sent or
postmarked) by September 10, 2007. Granting additional time to comment
on the proposed rule will allow these and other stakeholders time to
provide more thorough comments on the proposed rule, which, in turn,
will give OSHA a more complete record.

II. Submission of Comments and Access to Comments

You may submit comments in response to this document (1)
electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal

eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile (FAX); or (3) by hard copy. All
comments, attachments and other material must identify the Agency name
and the OSHA docket number for this rulemaking (Docket No. OSHA-2007-
0032). You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document
files electronically. If, instead, you wish to mail additional
materials in reference to an electronic or fax submission, you must
submit three copies to the OSHA Docket Office (see ADDRESSES section).
The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments
by name, date, and docket number so OSHA can attach them to your
comments.
Because of security-related procedures, the use of regular mail may
cause a significant delay in the receipt of comments. For information
about security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand,
express delivery, messenger or courier service, please contact the OSHA
Docket Office (see ADDRESSES section).
Comments and submissions in response to this Federal Register
notice are posted without change at http://www.regulations.gov (Docket

No. OSHA-2007-0032). Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about
submitting personal information such as social security numbers and
date of birth.
In the Explosives proposal, OSHA referenced a number of supporting
materials. Those references are posted in both Docket No. OSHA-S031-
2006-0665 (which is available at http://www.regulations.gov) and OSHA Docket No. S-031 (which is available at http://dockets.osha.gov).

Although all submissions in response to this Federal Register
notice and all supporting materials cited in the Explosives proposal
are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov and http://dockets.osha.gov
indexes, some information (e.g., copyrighted material)
is not publicly available to read or download from that Web page. All
submissions and supporting materials, including copyrighted material,
are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office.
Information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web page to submit

comments is available at the Web page's User Tips link. Contact the
OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available
through the Web pages and for assistance in using the Internet to
locate docket submissions.
Electronic copies of this Federal Register document are available
at http://www.regulations.gov. This document, as well as news releases

and other relevant information, also are available at OSHA's Web page
at http://www.osha.gov.

Authority and Signature

This document was prepared under the authority of Edwin G. Foulke,
Jr., Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health,
U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC
20210, pursuant to Sections 4, 6, and 8 of the OSH Act of 1970 (29
U.S.C. 653, 655, 657), Secretary of Labor's Order No. 5-2002 (67 FR
65008), Secretary of Labor's Order 5-2007 (72 FR 31160 (6/5/2007)), and
29 CFR part 1911.

Signed at Washington, DC, on July 2, 2007.
Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. E7-13198 Filed 7-6-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Labor Department Announces It Will Revise Overreaching OSHA Explosives Rule
Monday, July 16, 2007
http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?ID=3162

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it will significantly revise a recent proposal for new "explosives safety" regulations that caused serious concern among gun owners. OSHA had originally set out to update workplace safety regulations, but the proposed rules included restrictions that very few gun shops, sporting goods stores, shippers, or ammunition dealers could comply with.

Gun owners had filed a blizzard of negative comments urged by the NRA, and just a week ago, OSHA had already issued one extension for its public comment period at the request of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. After continued publicity through NRA alerts and the outdoor media, and after dozens of Members of Congress expressed concern about its impact, OSHA has wisely decided to go back to the drawing board.

Working with the NRA, Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) planned to offer a floor amendment to the Labor-HHS appropriations bill this Wednesday when the House considers this legislation. His amendment would have prohibited federal funds from being used to enforce this OSHA regulation.

Such an amendment is no longer necessary since Kristine A. Iverson, the Labor Department’s Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, sent Rep. Rehberg a letter, dated July 16, stating that it "was never the intention of OSHA to block the sale, transportation, or storage of small arms ammunition, and OSHA is taking prompt action to revise" this proposed rule to clarify the purpose of the regulation.

Also, working with the NRA, Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) gathered signatures from 25 House colleagues for a letter, dated July 11, expressing concerns about this proposed OSHA rule. The letter calling the proposal "an undue burden on a single industry where facts do not support the need outlined by this proposed rule" and "not feasible, making it realistically impossible for companies to comply with its tenets."

The OSHA proposal would have defined "explosives" to include "black powder, - small arms ammunition, small arms ammunition primers, [and] smokeless propellant," and treated these items the same as the most volatile high explosives.

Under the proposed rule, a workplace that contained even a handful of small arms cartridges, for any reason, would have been considered a "facility containing explosives" and therefore subject to many impractical restrictions. For example, no one could carry "firearms, ammunition, or similar articles in facilities containing explosives - except as required for work duties." Obviously, this rule would make it impossible to operate any kind of gun store, firing range, or gunsmith shop.

The public comment website for the proposed rule is no longer accessible. The Labor Department will publish a notice in the July 17 Federal Register announcing that a new rule proposal will soon be drafted for public comment. Needless to say, the NRA monitors proposed federal regulations to head off this kind of overreach, and will be alert for OSHA’s next draft.

Copyright 2007, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.
This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Please note that OSHA is just going to revise the proposed rule - we still have to be vigilant and ensure the revision doesn't have unacceptable portions.
 
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