Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Homeland Security threatens hobby and amateur rocketryLegislative relief is being sought
U.S. Senator Enzi Press Release ^ | 03/31/2003 | Izzy

Posted on 03/30/2003 11:31:55 PM PST by iz55

“Model rocket enthusiasts across the country and even across the ocean are very worried about how enforcement of regulations and the passage of new restrictions in the Homeland Security Act could negatively affect them. It was not Congress’ intent to harm model rocketry with passage of the Homeland Security Act. My bill would simply assure that people can go on enjoying their hobby without having to jump through a lot of needless regulatory hoops”

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Announcements; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: arsa; enzi; explosives; hobby; homelandsecurity; model; regulation; rocket; rocketeers; rocketry; safeexplosivesact
The Safe Explosives Act, part of the Homeland Security Act, is having unintended consequences on hobby and amateur rocketry activity througout the United States.

Groups affected include university students engaged in Aerospace education nationwide and their research and practical activities outside of the classroom, hundreds of high schools participating in the Team America Rocketry Challenge, and over ten thousand registered rocket hobbyists and their children who enage in hobby rocketry together as an educational and fun outdoor sport.

The cascade effect of the regulation also threatens to drive the entire industry of small businesses to extinction. These businesses manufacture and resell hobby and amateur rocketry materials.

Senator Mike Enzi (R - Wyoming) introduced a bill (S. 724) in the United States Senate last week to give hobby rocketeers an exemption. Senator Enzi is tentatively scheduled to make a speech on the bill in Monday's (March 31) session.

The Senator's press release is at

More information on the initiative to obtain legislative relief from the excessive regulation of hobby rocketry is at

Information to assist news organizations in researching the situation can be found at

This last site includes links to all identified published media coverage to date, lists of knowledgable contacts, rocketry clubs, and non-professional rocketry projects.

Please get involved, and urge your Senators to co-sponsor or otherwise support the legistative relief for hobby and amateur rocketry.

- iz

1 posted on 03/30/2003 11:31:55 PM PST by iz55
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: snopercod; brityank; wirestripper; iz55
2 posted on 03/30/2003 11:45:14 PM PST by First_Salute
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: iz55
While this is the most ridiculous thing I've seen out of the FedGov in many a moon, it's not a death knell for the hobby. Just learn how to manufacture your own black powder rocket motors. It's not as hard or as dangerous as the uninitiated would have you think.

All it takes is a damp paste of black powder and a light press to force the powder into a single grain. Do a search for homemade model rocket motors to see just how simple it is.

Check out this url for a starter.
3 posted on 03/30/2003 11:55:44 PM PST by Rasputin_TheMadMonk (Yes I am a bastard, but I'm a free, white, gun owning bastard. Just ask my exwife.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rasputin_TheMadMonk
Just learn how to manufacture your own black powder rocket motors.

This can get you busted too. The point of the inexpensive standardized rocket motors is to make it safe and easy for elementary-school age kids to launch rockets. I'm sure most 8 year olds can safely manufacture black powder. I suspect they will then proceed directly to fireworks....

4 posted on 03/31/2003 6:16:02 AM PST by no-s
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: no-s
Are you intentionally being obtuse or is it beyond your ability to control?

No, eight year olds can not manufacture black powder or fireworks. I did not suggest the manufacture of the black powder or of fireworks. I suggested a reasonable method to allow the supervising adult (You do expect for your child to be supervised using something as inherently dangerous as a model rocket, right?) to manufacture a serviceable engine using readily available materials to allow the hobby to continue.

Any adult who has passed high school chemistry classes or at the very least can read and follow directions can safely and reliably manufacture black powder motors. (Not a task for children regardless of how much smarter they might be than certain individuals who may be supervising them.) If the hobby means that much to you, then be willing to follow it to its reasonable conclusion.

Understanding the physics and chemistry behind the whoosh and pop is just as important as the wow factor of a paper tube jumping off the ground. Unless you just want to toss things into the air. If that's the reason you got into model rockets, can I suggest a potato cannon or if that's too much for you, a compressed air and water type toy? Somehow I feel that would be safer if the above are beyond your ability.

As to the legality of the matter, we put the fools behind the new law into office. Take some responsibility and put them out if they are a threat to your entertainment. Of course you should not do anything that your masters tell you is against their will, that's for free people.

I have little patience for a lack of reasoning ability, a public education is no excuse. Many people overcome that handicap every day.

/rant off
5 posted on 03/31/2003 10:13:06 AM PST by Rasputin_TheMadMonk (Yes I am a bastard, but I'm a free, white, gun owning bastard. Just ask my exwife.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Rasputin_TheMadMonk
Calm down and look again bud, I'm not obtuse, and not sarcastic. You wrote:
Just learn how to manufacture your own black powder rocket motors.

The article you link to is about sugar/KNO3 motors, btw.

I was perfectly able to make good quality powder and compressed powder in 3rd grade, courtesy of Encyclopeadia Britannica. And other singed-eyebrow stuff. Most of those activities are illegal now, regardless of intent. Commercial rocket motors are a good way to get kids started without completely re-capitulating rocket science, and without freaking out the law.

It's a mistake to effectively ban them, and legislative relief is needed. We're not science wussies for giving our kids a leg up. Would you ban textbooks too? Although the kids encyclopedias are curiously lacking the good stuff I remember from my day...

6 posted on 03/31/2003 11:38:09 AM PST by no-s (humming "Black Powder and Alcohol, when the states and cities fall" kids know the tune too...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: no-s
Right idea, wrong url. Sue me bud.
7 posted on 03/31/2003 7:12:26 PM PST by Rasputin_TheMadMonk (Yes I am a bastard, but I'm a free, white, gun owning bastard. Just ask my exwife.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson