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“The rumor is circulating that new federal regulations/reclassification of Wetted Nitrocellulose by ATF will put an end to domestic smokeless powder production in the U.S.,” Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) asserts in a press release. “This is both true and not true.” Here’s the ATF’s announcement:

ATF’s June 2016 Explosives Industry Newsletter included a brief discussion of Nitrocellulose, and attempted to clarify the circumstances under which wetted Nitrocellulose is considered a high explosive under 27 CFR, Part 555. As with all explosives, ATF’s focus is on the potential public safety risks associated with materials that can be misused or diverted to unlawful purposes.

Subsequent contact from industry members who import, transport, store or employ wetted Nitrocellulose in the production of ammunition, however, has brought to our attention issues that were not fully addressed in the Newsletter and require further consultation and consideration with the industry.

Accordingly, ATF has and will conduct further industry outreach concerning wetted Nitrocellulose. In the interim, previously authorized industry practices concerning wetted Nitrocellulose will not be affected.

The MSSA’s statement continues:

The BATFE proposed a new regulation for the storage, transportation and documentation of “wetted nitrocellulose,” which is a precursor for manufacture of smokeless powder. This proposed regulation would make compliance so difficult and expensive that it could cut off domestic production.

However, because of industry input about the possible consequences of this proposed regulation, the BATFE has decided to withdraw it for further consideration. It could still happen, but for now it’s on hold.

One concern is that this proposal and Internet attention to it could spark a consumer run on smokeless powder and ammunition.

Demand for powder and ammo is still a couple of orders of magnitude (or more) more elastic than the supply side can accommodate. So, this could create another run on finite supplies.

Those who follow Montana Shooting Sports Association legislative activity know that we got our Ammunition Availability Act passed into law in 2015. The AAA was/is to encourage the manufacture of smokeless powder, small arms primers, and cartridge brass in Montana.

We launched this legislative effort mostly because there are only two producers of smokeless powder in the U.S. – all other smokeless we consume here is imported and subject to administrative control by the U.S. State Department.

We wanted to both encourage smokeless production in Montana, and to set a model for how that could be done in other states all across the U.S., to make our Right to Keep and Bear Arms less vulnerable to political interruption of powder supplies.

Stay tuned for more info about this …

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut

About Montana Shooting Sports Association:

Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) is the primary political advocate for Montana gun owners. Visit:

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  1. So….. they tried to back door ban the manufacture ammunition. Go caught… now they are backing off again… unreal.

    • This ^^^, And we all know who is working behind the scenes on this attempt just like he was with the attempt to ban M855 ammunition and then threw the ATF director under the bus to tie-off the loose ends. His initials are B.O. and he lives on Pennsylvania Avenue.

      • I heard a rumor that was done right before the government began selling inventory of the M855 ammunition they had for decades.

        It’s a rumor, but I wouldn’t put it past them that the ATF would pull something like that to help stuff the gov’t coffers. I thought and thought how someone in gov’t would profit from changing the classification of wetted nitrocellulose, but I couldn’t think of one.

        From things I’ve been reading, it sounds like there’s plans attempting to be put in motion for something big to happen after the election. What, I don’t know but I’ve been looking the election for a while and I think if Trump wins, we’re going to have a war with China and Mexico, and if Hilary wins, we’re going to have a war with Russia and Iran.

        • It sounds like a good scheme, but I doubt that anyone in the Obama Administration actually understands the economics of supply and demand well enough to actually come up with the idea. Just the federal government fucking things up as usual.

        • “A war with Mexico”
          That’s about as laughable as the war between the underside of a boot and a roach

    • I guess ‘they’ need a bigger distraction to run it through when citizens aren’t watching. I’m amazed at how many distractions have occurred lately.

  2. After reading the article on Homeland Security I figure it’s just matter of time before they claim jurisdiction in the firearms arena too.

    • This is unquestionably true and everybody needs to understand this. Who out there thinks this attack had even the slightest thing to do with safety of this product?

      Creeping incrementalism. This is a ratchet, moving in one direction, one click at a time.

      They are playing the long game and the goal at the end is total disarmament.

      And this can only be stopped one way – by us. This has to be pushed back on, in whatever way we can – non-violently of course, but by speaking to people, writing letters, voting, all of it. National strike, marching on the streets, to Morder if need be.

      Whatever gains they make, that we allow, will be almost impossible to undo. And they are determined to make those gains. Should HRC win, no doubt she will double down on these efforts. Double, or more.

  3. So, pure speculation about price inflation, just like I said when the last “breaking news” announced stuff about it. Honestly, everyone is so quick to decide that the latest announcement is going to cause a panic or a run on the market, without stopping to think that the endless debate about “but what does it all mean???” is what’s actually causing all the runs and price inflation.

    • Remember how ammo was going to skyrocket in price when the Doe Run lead smelting plant in Missouri closed a few years ago? The sky was falling for weeks on that one, despite most ammo companies issuing statements that it wouldn’t affect them at all.

    • Without all the internet “speculation”, and manufacturer “speculation”, ATF would have just proceeded to shrink supply (whatever government is in charge of soon becomes a “shortage” that needs more government control – even the military). Waiting until all the details are carved in stone is not a winning tactic for keeping government in check.

      Given all the attention to this episode, what is the government really up to that they needed this distraction?

  4. Even if this has no supply side effects now it could easily cause shortages. People see backhanded efforts like these and stock up.

    • For good reason. Think, if all the ammunition in stores and online was “out of stock” for a year or longer. How long would your supply last you for recreational shooting? How long would it last you if we were attacked with an EMP and there was no electricity for 6 months?

      Answer: not long enough.

      • If the price increases too dramatically, recreational shooting will totally disappear. Then we will only shoot our guns on special occasions, and our skills will greatly diminish. That is the game they are playing. If they can’t ban firearms, they can make them so expensive to use that they are never used.

  5. Can we get a list of commercial smokeless powder mfgs actually working in the US? My initial take was that this was a non-issue even if it stood.

    Hodgdon sources most of their H/extreme series powders from Sweden or other European locals. Some of my Alliant powder shows it was imported from Australia of all places. I thin IMR is similar as is VV.

      • I picked up 7lbs of Blue Dot & 8lbs of Win 748 last night, just in case, though those are hard enough to find in my area that I’ll stock up on them any time I see them anyway. 7,000 primers of assorted type while I was at it too. Probably pick up some CFE Pistol when I get the chance too.

  6. BATFE capitulated after they realized that the new rules would have stopped domestic production of nail polish. Probably would have adversely affected Hillary’s election prospects.

    • I think the EPA told them to back-off because destroying the Musical Instrument Industry in the U.S. is their job.

  7. I think I’m going to step up my efforts and learn how to make black powder. It’s better than nothing.

  8. One of the favored tactics of government to extent/expand regulation is the “notice” to industry (or target group). “Notice” is served through a standing process, or through ad hoc letters, or “leaked” information. The intent is to discover all the areas that the target values, then, through feedback, design regulations to ensure the greatest reach possible. Industry will tell government about things government would never think to regulate on their own. The Soviets called it “self-criticism”, a voluntary admission of fault (yeah, real voluntary). From self-criticism, the state found new things to punish people for. For our government, voluntary admission of areas ripe for regulation serve the same purpose. If government wants to do “X”, targets report all the related areas that would fall under government control of “X”. Government never cares about so-called “unintended consequences”. The only unintended consequence of government regulation is that it does not go far enough. The more problems regulations create, the more government involvement is needed to “fix it”.

  9. As with all explosives, ATF’s focus is on the potential public safety risks associated with materials that can be misused or diverted to unlawful purposes.
    More Gun sense and Gun Safety by our Soviet Scientific Socialist Government. The Science of Socialism!

  10. Time to Abolish this Fiction called BATF. It’s a legal fiction / fraud. ATF was created by the stroke of a PEN, NOT BY CONGRESS, but by Charles Walker, Secretary of The Treasury, on 6 , June , 1972 with : Treasury Order Number 120-01. He claimed authority he did not have. The ATF is a branch of the IRS. Search and read ,
    BATF – IRS CRIMINAL FRAUD. Well documented here.

    • Please read the announcement carefully. Specifically, note “delay”, “research”, “interaction”. Those are adjustments to avoid rocks and shoals, not capitulation. Incrementalism works.

        • Except your ideas have been losing since 1934. Every state could tomorrow enact legislation to remove every restriction on gun ownership, and all it would take is a single vote on the Supreme Court to end it all. See how that works?

        • Just checked my gun safe. Actually more guns and ammo than last week. See how that works? How come you haven’t banned them? How come you can’t take them? Frustrating I know isn’t it? All you can do is lament on a pro 2A site and speculate on how you may win. The gun genie is out of the bottle bud, and he isn’t going back in. What society in history has effectively banned weapons and self defense? The answer is none. Now you know where you will end up. Let that sink in as you contemplate never winning.

          Actually going to take some neighbors shooting this weekend who are not gun folk. Keep leading with that glass chin and I’ll keep introducing people to the gun genie. Cheers!

          • “What society in history has effectively banned weapons and self defense? ”

            You’re not serious, are you?

            If by “banned” you mean total and absolute confiscation of firearms, perhaps that has never happened. If you mean making private ownership of guns illegal, you should get out more. In England, self-defense against a personal attack is illegal. Citizens are to avoid responding (through escape and evade), and notify police.

            Question for you: If the Supreme Court were to rule that the use of firearms in any circumstance were illegal, would that be an effective enough ban on guns? I can imagine a situation where use of firearms except a as a deputized member of a town or state militia is prohibited. Then, any use of a firearm for other than militia use would result in mandatory jail time. The right to keep arms would be protected, the right to bear and use arms in the militia (as noted in the second amendment) would be sustained. Only the use of firearms for other than militia service would mean criminal charges for all those who imagine themselves defenders of the weak and women who use a firearm in self-defense.

            Look at the definition of “self-defense”, it is not restricted to use of firearms. At least in America you can still defend yourself with innumerable other weapons.

        • I see one of you has come around:
          Sam I Am said, “Except your ideas have been losing since 1934.”

          A new beginning for Sam? One win at a time. Incrementalism.

          • NO !

            I am warning @Woodccock against underestimating a clever and relentless enemy. Ignoring your “incrementalism” is how we got where we are. Conceding the presidential election you leftists through arrogance and complacency will be the end of freedom in this country. A “safe” society is not a “free” society.

        • Let’s put a bit of logic to your response: “People will not comply”. So, you are stating that if the source of gunpowder were dried-up, and there is no more to be had, people will not comply with a lack of gunpowder in the future.

  11. That was a lead balloon from the beginning. There we just trying to see if it could fly against all the laws of aerodynamics.

  12. It’s still a “Whack A Mole” bureaucracy. Bunch of cubicle hacks, go through thousands of pages of current regulations, statutes, and policies looking for that ONE thing to change the entire firearms/Ammo industry.

    None for the better from a 2nd Amendment perspective.

    A good douching of said cubicle bureaucrats is needed.

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