|KLOUDBusters LEUP: A Legal Motor Option for KLOUDBusters Members|
KLOUDBusters has secured a Club Low-Explosives Users Permit. KLOUDBusters members in good standing may become "Authorized Persons" and may acquire and use regulated rocket motors at the Argonia Rocket Pasture under the LEUP. All KLOUDBusters members who are not prohibited persons according to the BATFE definition are eligible and must comply with the process outlined in the Corporation By-Laws covering the use of rocket motors under the LEUP.
The following write-up helps explain the LEUP and its use by KLOUDBusters members. There is a lot of information here and you should read all the sections below so you understand the process completely. First, I'll give the "Quick Start" version, followed by a more detailed presentation of the necessary information in FAQ format. If you have other questions, contact email@example.com.
KLOUDBusters "Quick Start" LEUP Guide for Members
What is an LEUP?
AN LEUP is a Low-Explosives User Permit issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) permitting the use, transportation, receipt, or possession of low explosives. Under federal laws currently in force, certain Ammonium Perchlorate Composite Propellant (APCP, i.e. rocket motors), e-matches, and igniters are considered low explosives (collectively, I'll refer to these rocket materials here as LE - low explosives). In short, one can legally acquire and use LE under an LEUP.
Why Does KLOUDBusters Need an LEUP?
While we have been holding out hope that the U.S. Federal court would rule in favor of organized rocketry in the TRA/NAR vs. BATFE lawsuit, there has been no movement or communication on the lawsuit for quite some time. The BATFE has expressed the desire for rocketry clubs to obtain permits to accommodate members' use of rocket motors. We received information from both the local BATFE agent and via an article posted on www.rocketryplanet.com and which later appeared in Extreme Rocketry magazine about how to pursue this effort. A local BATFE agent also expressed to a local vendor that "sponsoring" of individuals' rocket launches was not within the strict interpretation of the law and should be curtailed.
In order to continue to enjoy our hobby and particularly for the benefit of all KLOUDBusters members, the KLOUDBusters Board of Directors (KBoD) decided that this made sense for the club. Following the specific recommendations of the BATFE, the KBoD drafted and approved changes to the Corporation's By-Laws addressing the various aspects of the LEUP, installation of a Type IV low-explosives storage magazine, and the specifics of how members can obtain and use regulated rocket motors under the Club LEUP.
Which Motors are considered Low Explosives?
APCP rocket motors with propellant mass exceeding 62.5g are regulated under the U.S. Explosives Laws. Motors containing 62.5g or less are exempt from regulation. In general, the regulated class includes H impulse and above while the unregulated are G impulse and below. There are a few G motors (i.e. Aerotech G75) that are regulated because they exceed the 62.5g limit. Exempt motors may be purchased, transported, stored and used in any quantity without an LEUP or approved low explosives storage. Hybrid motors of all sizes are currently not regulated because the oxidizer and fuel are separate components.
What/Who are Trustees / Responsible Persons?
The LEUP licensing process defines Corporation officials who direct the shipping, handling, and use of LE as the "Responsible Persons" for the Corporation; in our case, the Trustees of the Club. Part of the By-Laws changes designate a Committee of Trustees as those individuals who take on the role of Responsible Persons for the LEUP. The Trustees will ensure that members' actions with regard to the LEUP are within the regulations and adhere to the provisions of the By-Laws. The Responsible Persons / Trustees for KLOUDBusters are: Dennis Blackburn, Bob Brown, Lance Lickteig, and Mark Logan. Mark Logan is designated as the Principal Trustee to oversee all of the required transactions and recordkeeping.
What is an "Authorized Person"?
The new By-Laws section defines an "Authorized Person" as a KLOUDBusters member who is a current member (your dues are paid), has a completed and signed "KLOUDBusters Due Diligence Questionnaire" on file with the Trustees, and is not a prohibited person per the BATFE. To obtain Authorized Person status, you must provide a copy of your personal identification that validates that you are of legal age, a U.S. citizen and not a felon. Acceptable ID includes the following options: 1) a valid photo ID (i.e. Drivers License) and Voter Registration card, OR, 2) a copy of your passport with your questionnaire. This helps us verify that you are not a Prohibited Person. Our regular motor vendors at the Argonia Rocket Pasture will be provided with a list of KLOUDBusters Authorized Persons. Under the Club LEUP, Authorized Persons may possess and use rocket motors ONLY at the Argonia Rocket Pasture. When reading the federal regulations, an Authorized Person is akin to an Employee Possessor.
What is a "Prohibited Person"?
Under federal law, it is illegal for Prohibited Persons to handle and/or use explosives. The U.S. Explosives Law 18 U.S.C. § 842(i) defines the criteria for a prohibited person. The "KLOUDBusters Due Diligence Questionnaire" is based upon these guidelines. You are a prohibited person if you must answer "Yes" to any of the questions on the "KLOUDBusters Due Diligence Questionnaire". If you are a prohibited person, relief or a variance must be obtained from the BATFE to become an Authorized Person.
What Can I Do Under the Club LEUP?
The LEUP is issued to KLOUDBusters, Inc. as the business entity which will be using, receiving and transporting LE. In conjunction with the limitations in the By-Laws, you may order, handle, and use LE at the Argonia Rocket Pasture under the LEUP. The four Club Trustees designated as Responsible Persons on the LEUP may transport the LE, are responsible for all recordkeeping necessary to stay legal, may move LE in and out of the storage magazine, and will supervise the LE use on behalf of the Club. All motor vendors who sell LE for use at the Argonia Rocket Pasture will have a list of KLOUDBusters Authorized Persons. You may buy and possess LE from any vendor under the permit ONLY AT THE ARGONIA LAUNCH SITE. As an Authorized Person you are an agent of KLOUDBusters and are legally acquiring the LE for KLOUDBusters; therefore the purchased LE legally belongs to KLOUDBusters, not you as an individual.
Does KLOUDBusters have a LE Storage Magazine?
Yes, in order to comply with the requirements for obtaining an LEUP, the Club has installed a small Type IV storage magazine.
Can I store my Motors in the KLOUDBusters Storage Magazine?
The By-Laws changes adopted by the KBoD specifically state that members "shall not stockpile, hoard or otherwise accumulate motors" for storage in the Club magazine. The intended purpose of our LEUP is to permit members to legally buy and fly at the Argonia Rocket Pasture. With over 100 members, the logistical and recordkeeping challenges presented by allowing personal storage by members were deemed to be unmanageable. In reality, if you arrange with your favorite vendor to bring the motors to the launch site on a per-launch basis, there is no need for personal storage. Essentially, the vendors should keep the motor in their storage until you are ready to use it.
We do understand that weather or technical challenges sometimes cause a "no-go" situation after a rocket motor reload kit has been purchased and the motor assembled for flight; preventing the motor from being returned to the vendor. In these emergency cases, individuals may store the unused motor in the magazine. The motor must be clearly marked with the Authorized Person's Name and KLOUDBusters Member Number and every effort must be made to use the motor at the next opportune launch. Keep in mind, the KLOUDBusters Storage Magazine is not large and there is no compartmentalization. Your motor will go into the pile with others in the magazine. Also, there is no insurance from fire/water damage or theft. We can not overemphasize that the Buy and Fly concept is the way it must be and in your own best interests.
If you feel like you need personal motor storage, you should apply for a personal LEUP. The process is not difficult and most people in our area can legally have a small indoor storage magazine for up to 50 lbs. of LE in their garage or shed (you'll need a variance for an attached garage), or make provisions for contingency storage with another individual LEUP holder.
Why are "my" Motors the Property of KLOUDBusters?
As stated above, as an Authorized Person you have the ability under the Club LEUP to acquire and possess LE on behalf of KLOUDBusters. You do not individually have the rights and responsibilities of an LEUP holder. The Trustees on behalf of the Club are responsible for making certain that all recordkeeping and legalities of LE handling comply with the Federal Explosives Laws and the Corporation By-Laws. Due to these requirements you cannot legally "own" the motors yourself since you do not have a federal permit to do so. Keep in mind, LE may not be removed from the launch site by individuals. If emergency storage is required, contact one of the four Trustees / Responsible Persons for proper recordkeeping and placing the LE in the storage magazine.
What are the recordkeeping requirements for individual Authorized Persons?
If you acquire a motor under the Club LEUP and burn it the same day, there are no individual recordkeeping requirements, per se. LEUP holders must keep acquisition and disposition records for all LE acquired and used. To assist these recordkeeping requirements, vendors selling LE at the Argonia Rocket Pasture will be required to provide copies of their records of sales to KLOUDBusters Authorized Persons to the Trustees for inclusion in our records.
If there is an emergency situation requiring storage of an unused motor, it must be stored in a legally approved magazine, which either means returning it to the vendor or turning it over to one of the Trustees / Responsible Persons for storage in the Club's magazine. At that time, the records for the transaction into the magazine will be updated. When the motor is removed from the magazine for use later, it will be logged to the appropriate record by the Trustees / Responsible Persons.
This all sounds rather cumbersome, but it is required by law as a provision of having an LEUP. The patient understanding of each member is appreciated as we grow into this process. After all, the peace-of-mind for "staying legal" will benefit everyone.
Can I acquire Motors under the Club LEUP at other launch sites?
No. The BATFE's guidelines for Club LEUP application request that the scope of the LEUP usage be limited to the Club's official launch site. This requirement enables the necessary restriction that LE use be directed by the LEUP Responsible Persons (the Trustees). Again, if you have a need to travel to other launches, you may wish to pursue getting an individual LEUP for your needs.
How does the Club LEUP affect Individual LEUP holders?
Individual LEUP holders may continue to purchase, transport, and use LE as they always have, however, if you acquire LE items under the Club LEUP you must comply with all restrictions and requirements of our LEUP process for those items.
How do I join KLOUDBusters?
Complete the membership application found here: http://www.kloudbusters.org/KBAPP.pdf and send it with your dues payment and completed "KLOUDBusters Due Diligence Questionnaire" form to: KLOUDBusters Inc., c/o Science Education Center, 2730 Boulevard Plaza, Wichita, KS 67211-3812.
That covers all the aspects of acquiring and using LE under the KLOUDBusters, Inc. LEUP and the roles of the various individuals involved. KLOUDBusters is the first TRA club to pursue this process; it is our desire to provide a means for members of our organization to continue to enjoy the High-Power Rocketry hobby in an atmosphere where the possibility of non-compliance does not affect their enjoyment of the hobby. We have complied with the guidelines and requests of the BATFE during the process of obtaining our Corporation LEUP and met all of their expectations. We are confident that this is a process that will keep flyers and vendors alike legal at all times when pursuing High-Power Rocketry at the Argonia Rocket Pasture as members of KLOUDBusters, Inc.
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