Monday, March 16, 2009

Sometimes, The Good Guys Win

After nine years, the National Association of Rocketry has won its lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, which had attempted to classify rocket motor propellant as an explosive.

This case is one of those niche areas that affects a relatively small number of people (model rocket enthusiasts), but is exemplary of the gross abuse of power the federal government often displays. The BATF was attempting to regulate ammonium perchlorate composite propellant ("APCP"), the primary ingredient of model rocket motors, as an explosive. Such a move effectively shut down the hobby, since acquiring the appropriate waivers was difficult and time consuming.

The fact is that APCP is not an explosive, certainly not in the same way that, say, gasoline is. This is a victory not just for hobbyists, but for everyone who opposes abusive government over regulation.