BATF Seeks Reclassification of Wetted Nitrocellulose

September 7, 2016 Posted by: Bill Duvall

2nd Amendment Alert and Control Our Freedom Act

Action Stymied by NRA

“Firearms in the hands of a free people are a threat only to tyrants!”

In a June 2016 newsletter, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced that BATF was reclassifying wetted nitrocellulose, stating that “Nitrocellulose explosive” is on ATF’s List of Explosive Materials (Class III High Explosive) and stating ATF has determined that “nitrocellulose containing greater than 12.6 percent nitrogen is a high explosive under 27 C.F.R. Part 555.”

ATF’s no notice, no grace period and no comment period is egregious enough, but the nonsensical part of this is that wetted nitrocellulose is not explosive at all; that is why it is wetted! It has to be specially dried before making it into smokeless gunpowder.

Manufacturers and importers of smokeless propellant have relied on ATF private letter rulings issued prior to 2016 stating that nitrocellulose wetted with water not less than 25 percent by mass is not subject to regulation under the federal explosives laws. The manufacturers have set up their logistics, storage and operations consistent with nitrocellulose not being regulated as an explosive. Manufacturers and importers may not have adequate storage facilities or record keeping systems to comply with the law. Licensed manufacturers also rely on private, unlicensed vendors to store wetted nitrocellulose in facilities that do not comply with storage requirements. A number of manufacturers also report an adverse impact on their contracts to supply smokeless propellant and finished rounds of ammunition to the Department of Defense.


Fortunately for gun owners, munitions makers, and people who still love and believe in our Constitution, an immediate stay is in place, due to quick action by the NRA, pending further public input. The outrage remains, however, from the way this attempted action was sprung with no advance warnings. How can a federal agency arbitrarily decide to reclassify such substance with no hearing or opportunity for input from manufacturers or the general public? They work for us and should not be able to make such a decision without input. It should be obvious that ATF was pressured to take this action by the current administration.

If Clinton is elected, we may as well say goodbye to our gun rights, and the way she’ll stack the supreme court all our other rights as well. Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief suggests stocking up on ammo needs because shortages and price increases are sure to come.

ATF’s sudden and unexpected change in policy on wetted nitrocellulose would have had a significant impact on industry’s ability to deliver products to the military and commercial markets. Industry members have relied on the exemption for wetted nitrocellulose for many years and are aware of no accidental detonations or diversion of this product into illicit channels. Consequently, it is unclear why ATF believed it necessary to change its policy and, more importantly, why ATF announced the change in a newsletter article with no advance notice to industry.

We urge all members to send our Control Our Freedom Act bill to your state legislators asking them to sponsor and push for passage to nullify all BATF regulations and return firearms to the FREEDOM all citizens have, according to the 2nd Amendment.

The time to act is now! Let’s put the BATF forever out of our states and re-enshrine the Constitution and Bill of Rights as the Supreme Law of the Land. Remember, if we quietly accept small and gradual infringements on our God given rights, before we know it, we’ve lost ALL our freedoms.

The Independent American Party has Principles in place to specifically address this heavy-handed usurpation of our rights by an overstaffed, overpowering government bureaucracy:

Principle 2

We believe that God has endowed men with certain unalienable rights as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and that no legislature and no majority, however great, may morally limit or destroy these; that the sole function of government is to protect life, liberty, and property…..

As stated in the 2nd Amendment, we the people have the unalienable right to keep and bear arms and that right shall not be morally limited by any legislature or majority, however great.

Principle 6

We are hereby resolved that under no circumstances shall the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights be infringed. In particular we are opposed to any attempt on the part of the Federal Government to deny the people their right to bear arms…..

This action by the BATF is simply one more action to deny us, the American people, our freedom to bear arms. The liberal left seeks to raise the price of all firearms and related products to the point the American citizen can no longer afford them.

Principle 7

We consider ourselves at war with the enemy of our God-given liberties regardless of the enemy’s manifestation…..

When our own government seeks to take away our God-given liberties, then we must consider ourselves at war with that government.

Principle 8

We are unalterably opposed to Socialism, either in whole or in part, and regard it as an unconstitutional usurpation of power and a denial of the right of private property for government to own or operate the means of producing and distributing goods and services…..

The continuing assault on our 2nd Amendment rights and the government attempt to usurp our ownership of private property smacks of Socialism.

Principle 11

We believe that each state is sovereign in performing those functions reserved to it by the Constitution and it is destructive of our federal system and the right of self-government guaranteed under the Constitution for the Federal Government to regulate or control…..

And that is exactly what the Federal Government is trying to do…regulate and control every aspect of our lives. The states, much less the Federal Government, have absolutely no right to infringe upon our rights guaranteed under the 2nd Amendment.


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