Can Canadians Fly rockets in the U.S. #YES!!#

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Feb 5, 2004
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I have been reading different views on weather Canadians can legally fly
rockets in the U.S. from both 'rmr' and the 'rocketry forum'. Most believe
that it is next to impossible to do this, but I have found that this is very
far from the truth.

When I was applying for my LEUP, I asked my BATF Interviewer what could be
done to help my friends from Canada. She explained to me that Canadians who
participate in gun shooting events here in the U.S. use a relief of
disability to be able to bring their own guns and ammo into the U.S. to
participate. She explained to me that she wasn't sure if this could be used
for rocketry events, but she would find out.

Here is a copy of the letter she sent back to me concerning my questions:

Copy of letter from BATF Agent

Enclosed is some information that I was able to obtain in reference to your
question on Canadians coming into the United States to launch model rockets.
I spoke to legal counsel and she said that a Canadian would need a permit to
possess here in the U.S. but an alien is considered prohibited. Therefore,
he would need to request a relief of disability. The Safe Explosives Act
regulations do not address aliens coming into the U.S. for an onsite launch
for recreational use, or an organized club launch, etc. I have attached the
information I was able to come up with. I would recommend you attach a
letter to the application for relief of disability stating specifically what
he wants to do. (e.g. come to the U.S. and purchase on site, launch on site,
and return home or bring into the U.S., for an organized, controlled launch
and launch and leave, etc.) Also I would mention in your letter that this is
an annual organized club launch regulated by the FAA, county, state, local,
etc. if that is the case or whatever the specific details.

This link to the ATF website should help those who would like to pursue this
It list other links to samples of forms and accompanying letters one should
use when applying for this. This should be used along with applying for a
persons LEUP as well. One should note that if you want to bring in your own
motors to fly with, you will need to apply for storage as well. Otherwise
just apply for a "buy and fly" permit.

Although I do have copies of some of the forms, all of you would be better
off if you asked for these forms by following the links I just gave you.
Also, I told this to my friend Murry Lampert, and I'm sure that he has done
something along these lines himself.

I hope this helps all of you who want to come to the U.S. and participate in
some of our launches. (LDRS 23, future NYPOWER's, BALLS and any other big
launches for example.)

Mike Dutch
So there's hope after all! Mike, thanks for making that enquiry. Would you mind if I copied your post to the Canadian Association of Rocketry list?
Go ahead and send the post to the CAR. My whole reason for doing this in the first place was because of all the great people from Canada I've met at the NYPOWER events that my Club has held in the past.
I'm glad that I was able to find some information which that could help.

Mike Dutch
Ok, is that fly rockets in th US or into the US. If it's into the US, I think NORAD might want to have a word with you!
Originally posted by bobrogg
Ok, is that fly rockets in th US or into the US. If it's into the US, I think NORAD might want to have a word with you!

Meanwhile, At The Border Crossing...


Dual. Designed, scratchbuilt and glassed in Canada, but the nosecone and fins are from Public Missiles in the 'States.

"Where are you from?"

The 'away' pad at the Roc Lake site.


Don't know 'till I get there, really. Rocksim says I'll hit almost 30k, but that would have been if I went straight up.

"Purpose for your visit?"

Beats me. LCO pushed the launch button, but there was a gust of wind, and the launch rail tipped over to the south.

"Anything to declare?"

Um, yeah, there's an RDAS transmitter and an FC-877 flight computer in the nosecone. Also, four grams of FFFFG, a six-pack of Sleeman's, and about three pounds of propellant... two point nine... two point eight...

"Ah, please fill out this form. Make, model, serial, value."

Motor's burning a bit hot here, is there an express lineup for next time?

"Yes, but to use it you need to get a background check, wait a month for the paperwork, and it costs about $200, so it's really only meant for commercial transits."

That's fair. Um, the motor casing doesn't really have a serial number.

"Just write N/A."

Thanks. Here you go.

"Enjoy your visit to the United States. Fly carefully."
So will this change anyones decision not to come to the states for LDRS?

one time on our way back from Canada (we were visiting relatives up near Lake Kashimawigamog.), the border agent asked us "do you have any WMDs?" my dad waited a sec, and said "Just a 9 year old boy!":D ;) The guy didnt get it at first, but then he cracked up when he saw me sitting in the backseat!:D :p This was all before my entry into rocketry, however.

Good luck to all you canadians! I hope you can make it to LDRS now!:cool: :rolleyes:

Can you get yer motors from Magnum or Giant Leap onsite? That might work... You wouldent have to bring anything across the border...:)
I won't be going to LDRS this year... Canada's a big place, and I'm on the left coast. :) But if this means I can launch at sites in WA, OR & ID... some of these places are close enough that I could make a day trip for an HPR launch. Sweet!

I'm already designing my project for LDRS24 though. :)