Our Club's BATFE Inspection

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tquigg

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Yesterday our club was visited by the regional BATFE field agent to inspect the club's storage magazine. Even though the hobby has won the lawsuit, until the ruling comes down in writing, and the state legislature changes state law, here in Washington State, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries still requires a storage magazine. The magazine has to be approved by BATFE before it can be approved on a state level. Sooooo......

Anyway, our club has had this storage magazine since 2001, and have experienced no issues... nada, zip, nothing. Until yesterday.

We had a new, young field agent, who promptly whips out a micrometer and begins measuring everything....

The plywood lining is not truly 1/2 inch thick. It's only 7/16. Gig #1. The padlock shackles are not truly 3/8. They are 1/32 of an inch too small in diameter. Gig #2. The hoods surrounding the locks are 1/16 of a inch too thin. The metal needs to be thicker. Gig #3. We have two weeks to change these "problems" which have never been a problem before. We've passed all local, state and up until now, federal inspections for the past eight years. Now all of a sudden we are no longer in compliance?

For the record, in eight years there has never been a single motor stored in this magazine. It has been 100% contingent use.

When we inquired as to the lawsuit outcome, the field agent advised he was aware of the court ruling, but has seen nothing in writing from the bureau. Until such time as he sees something in writing, it's business as usual, and we are not in compliance.

Anyone else had similar experience lately? And yes, I have reported this incident to NAR.

Best Regards
 

sj_h1

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Get a lawyer, sounds like harassment to me!:madnote:
 

troj

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Looks like your club is NAR; get in touch with the BoT immediately and inform them what's up.

Also, contact me offline and I can give you some other info that may be of assistance.

-Kevin
 

SCE to AUX

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If you aren't actually storing anything, why bother with even having the club LEUP anymore?

Is it really worth the hassles with the JBGTs in order to provide contingent storage for a little BP and some igniters? APCP motors no longer fall under ATF jurisdiction, and can't be stored in a permitted magazine anyway.

Drop the LEUP, and kiss the harassment from the ATF twits goodbye...
 

Sailorbill

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If you aren't actually storing anything, why bother with even having the club LEUP anymore?

Is it really worth the hassles with the JBGTs in order to provide contingent storage for a little BP and some igniters? APCP motors no longer fall under ATF jurisdiction, and can't be stored in a permitted magazine anyway.

Drop the LEUP, and kiss the harassment from the ATF twits goodbye...
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tquigg said:
Yesterday our club was visited by the regional BATFE field agent to inspect the club's storage magazine. Even though the hobby has won the lawsuit, until the ruling comes down in writing, and the state legislature changes state law, here in Washington State, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries still requires a storage magazine. The magazine has to be approved by BATFE before it can be approved on a state level. Sooooo......
Apparently this is a State of Washington requirement no matter what the Lawsuit said.
 

rdmmdr

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about the plywood, in the us 1/2 plywood is always a little small 15/32, just like a 2x4 is not 2x4. this inspector probably does not know this. as for the locks its 3/8 and the hoods are 1/4.

who made the magazine, is it a commercial magazine or did you guys fab something.

it sounds like you just finally got caught, but the changes should be no big deal if you have a member with a welder.
 

kelltym88

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1/32" Really? Really? There gonna make a big deal about 1/32"? Geeze. :rolleyes:
 

tquigg

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about the plywood, in the us 1/2 plywood is always a little small 15/32, just like a 2x4 is not 2x4. this inspector probably does not know this. as for the locks its 3/8 and the hoods are 1/4.

who made the magazine, is it a commercial magazine or did you guys fab something.

it sounds like you just finally got caught, but the changes should be no big deal if you have a member with a welder.

The September 2006 issue of the BATFE newsletter, page 4, question 8, clearly addresses the issue of padlocks being slightly under spec. The BATFE at that time advised that 1/32 of an inch under was acceptable, and presented no perceptable decrease in storage security. Sounds like the field agents don't read their own newsletters to me :-(

We caved. I went and purchased two new padlocks with 1/2 inch shackles. We are also adding additional thickness to the hoods. Have no idea what to do about the 1/2 inch plywood that is 1/16 of an inch under spec.

Everything else is in compliance.

Beware BATFE field agents who break out a pair of micrometers!
 

Pantherjon

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I have heard of anal and I have heard of being anal about something, but this takes the cake!:rolleyes: Sheesh! Like 1/32" is REALLY going to make any difference in the strength of the lock, wood or metal cover...:bangbang:
 

MarkM

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Sounds like an overly anally retentive field agent who really doesn't understand his job. Ridiculous.
 

dr wogz

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Reminds me of teh hoops you nee dto jump though at eh bank (or any large organization)

You talk to one rep, who says you need 'A', 'B' and 'C'.
You then retrurn with A, B & C, only to be told by a new agent that C is not required, but 'E' is.
You get 'E', and the thrid agent tells you B & E are neded, along with C. 'A' is not required in your particular case.
And the fourth time you return, you are told everythign is OK, but your A' is now out of date.

Left hand, meet Right hand... :bangpan:
 

Bazookadale

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I went and purchased two new padlocks with 1/2 inch shackles. We are also adding additional thickness to the hoods. Have no idea what to do about the 1/2 inch plywood that is 1/16 of an inch under spec.

Everything else is in compliance.

Beware BATFE field agents who break out a pair of micrometers!
Well if its plywood, which is multiple sheets of wood glued together, couldn't you glue a sheet of 1/16" wood on top of it?
 

privateer

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Government inspectors vary widely...most are pretty good guys; some are outstanding and some are just rotten.

Remember the huge fuss about American Airlines grounding their MD-80's a couple of years ago? That had to do with an FAA inspector looking at some wire routing that had been reworked per a mandated service bulletin. The bulletin said to use tie wraps every 1.0 inch. So he got out a steel ruler, and if they were not 1.0 inch "on the dot" it was a finding. (Dozens or more tie wraps were used on each aircraft.) AA got Boeing to clarify that they could be plus or minus a quarter inch, but by that time I think AA and the FAA were locked in a fight. There was also an issue about the orientation of the tie wraps; if they didn't look like the service bulletin picture (i.e., "upside down") that was a finding too.

Of course, in the real world that's just silly. The inspector's supervisors, in my opinon, should not have let the thing escalate as it did. All the public heard on the news was "noncompliance". :rolleyes:
 

rrobe99999

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As an engineer, I get to argue with anal QA inspectors. Was the inspector using a calibrated instrument? I would try to argue that your magazine is within dimensional tolerance. Do the specs for your magazine requirements list those dimesnsions as minimum or is there a general tolerance listed somewhere? Typical tolerances on dimensions listed in fractions is 1/16th of an inch.
 

rdmmdr

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since you caved, probably the best option of something this silly. go to home depot and get some door skins also called luan board and spray on contact adhesive. if you think these guys are bad try building inspectors. in one county i work in they have carpenders doing electrical inspections. it has gotten to the point that i have to be there for every inspection just incease they decided to think up something new this week.
 
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UhClem

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I am curious as to where the 1/2" requirement on the plywood lining comes from. This isn't in the ATF regulations.
 

RandyT0001

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(2) Construction. Indoor magazines are to be constructed of masonry, metal-covered wood, fabricated metal, or a combination of these materials. The walls and floors are to be constructed of, or covered with, a nonsparking material. The doors must be metal or solid wood covered with metal.
Isn't the wood the non-sparking material.
 

Johnly

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Tim,

Did they write these items up as a formal non-compliance or just an observation that needed to be addressed before the magazine could be put in service?

John Lyngdal
NAR BoT
 

tquigg

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Tim,

Did they write these items up as a formal non-compliance or just an observation that needed to be addressed before the magazine could be put in service?

John Lyngdal
NAR BoT
Hi John:

These items were observations that needed to be changed before he would sign off on the recertification of the magazine. He will be back on July 23rd to inspect it again, and hopefully, sign off. Since 2001 when the magazine was first licensed, the field agent was Mike Olena. He said all was compliant and never had an issue with inspections or sign off. This new guy is a Matt Grimm. Real young, and had a trainee with him. Don't know if he was trying to impress the trainee or actually takes his job this seriously!

We've already purchased and installed new padlocks with 1/2" shackles, we are in the process of adding 1/16 of an inch more metal to the hoods over the padlocks. As for the plywood, dunno. Oh, we also had two bolt heads that were showing through from recently mounting the magazine to the wall. In order to comply with the non-sparking requirement, these have been covered with silicone caulking.
 

UhClem

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The State of Washington requires an explosives magazine to store flammable solids?
If you look at the definition of explosives in Washington State Law you will find it is much more inclusive that the ATF definition:

(3) The term "explosive" or "explosives" whenever used in this chapter, shall be held to mean and include any chemical compound or mechanical mixture that is commonly used or intended for the purpose of producing an explosion, that contains any oxidizing and combustible units, or other ingredients, in such proportions, quantities or packing, that an ignition by fire, by friction, by concussion, by percussion, or by detonation of any part of the compound or mixture may cause such a sudden generation of highly heated gases that the resultant gaseous pressures are capable of producing destructive effects on contiguous objects or of destroying life or limb. In addition, the term "explosives" shall include all material which is classified as division 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, or 1.6 explosives by the United States department of transportation. For the purposes of this chapter small arms ammunition, small arms ammunition primers, smokeless powder not exceeding fifty pounds, and black powder not exceeding five pounds shall not be defined as explosives, unless possessed or used for a purpose inconsistent with small arms use or other lawful purpose.
https://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=70.74.010

Since they use their own definition that is not linked to the ATF list of explosives and explicitly includes UN 1.3 and 1.4, rocket motors are regulated by the state. Worse is that I haven't found an exemption for model rocket motors. It might exist but I can't find it.
 

bobkrech

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Well, technically it is in writing here: https://tripoli.org/documents/batfe/20090316Ruling.pdf

The State of Washington requires an explosives magazine to store flammable solids?
Flammable solids are classified as Division 4.1 materials for transportation by DOT so they are not subject to the Washington state magazine law.

Hobby rocket motors are still classified as Division 1.3 or 1.4 materials for transportation by DOT so they would still be subject to the Washington state magazine law. I'll also note however the magazine storage exemptions what echo federal law regarding small arms ammunition and components. It seems that the state law could be ammended to conform to the federal law, but this is a process that has yet to occur.

Bob
 
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