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By Hook or Crook, they are coming after our guns.


By Hook or Crook, it seems that the powers that be have their mind set on breaking our 2nd amendment rights. This story was sent to me by a couple of friends. It is one we should pay close attention to.

~Jason Van Tatenhove


Originally published at

ATF Reclassifies Wetted Nitrocellulose as Explosive Materials Under Federal Explosive Laws


Reeves & Dola, LLP

Washington, DC -( In an Explosives Industry Newsletter issued in June 2016, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) reclassified wetted nitrocellulose [also known as flash paper, flash cotton, guncotton, and flash string] containing greater than 12.6 percent nitrogen as a high explosive under the federal explosives laws.

As explained below, this is a dramatic and sudden change in agency policy with a significant impact on the ammunition industry. The new policy was announced in a newsletter without any opportunity for industry input.


The federal explosives laws, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 40, regulate commerce in “explosive materials.” The term “explosive materials” is defined as explosives, blasting agents, and detonators. The term “explosives” is defined as any chemical compound mixture or device the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion. The definition requires ATF to publish an annual list of explosives that fit within the statutory definition. The 2015 List of Explosives is available at

Exemptions from the requirements of the federal explosives laws are provided, in pertinent part, for: (1) the transportation, shipment, receipt, or importation of explosive materials for delivery to any federal or State agency; (2) for small arms ammunition and components thereof; and (3) for the manufacture under the regulation of the U.S. military of explosive materials for their official use.

The term “ammunition” is defined in 27 C.F.R. § 555.11 as follows:

“Small arms ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or smokeless propellants designed for use in small arms, including percussion caps, and 3/32 inch and other external burning pyrotechnic hobby fuses. The term does not include black powder.”

ATF’s longstanding position is that the small arms ammunition exemption applies only to .50 caliber or smaller rifle or handgun ammunition as well as certain shotgun ammunition. This position is clear in a June 2013 Explosive Industry Newsletter addressing exploding ammunition.


ATF Exploding Ammunition Wetted Nitrocellulose Requirements Newsletter

ATF also exempts other components of small arms ammunition from the requirements of the law and regulations, but only if such components are listed in the definition of “ammunition” in 27 C.F.R. § 555.11. This means that smokeless powder and primers are exempt from record keeping and storage requirements. However, other explosive materials used to manufacture ammunition will not be exempt until incorporated into one of the components of ammunition listed in the regulation, including smokeless powder or a complete round of small arms ammunition. Thus, wetted nitrocellulose containing greater than 12.6 percent nitrogen may be lawfully shipped, transported, or received only by persons holding federal explosives licenses or permits. Nitrocellulose must be recorded in records of acquisition in accordance with 27 C.F.R. § 555.123(b). The wetted nitrocellulose must also be recorded in the daily summary of magazine transactions required by 27 C.F.R. 555.127 and stored in storage magazines meeting the construction, tables of distance, and other requirements of storage regulations in 27 C.F.R. Part 555. At the point the nitrocellulose is incorporated into smokeless powder or a complete round of ammunition, it is exempt from the requirements of the record keeping, storage, and other requirements of federal law and regulations.

ATF Newsletter Article

The June 2016 newsletter article [see image above] states that ATF was recently asked about the status of nitrocellulose under the federal explosives laws and regulations. The article notes that “Nitrocellulose explosive” is on ATF’s List of Explosive Materials and states ATF has determined that “nitrocellulose containing greater than 12.6 percent nitrogen is a high explosive under 27 C.F.R. Part 555.” The article indicates ATF is aware that the U.S. Department of Transportation may assign a nonexplosive classification to nitrocellulose when it has been wetted with water or alcohol, based, in part, on the diminished likelihood of explosion in a transportation accident. However, because nitrocellulose retains its explosive characteristics when the water or alcohol is removed, the wetted nitrocellulose remains a nitrocellulose explosive subject to all controls of the federal explosives laws. Because of the diminished likelihood of wetted nitrocellulose exploding, “ATF will consider variance requests to store the wetted material under an alternative arrangement.”

Impact of ATF Reclassification of Wetted Nitrocellulose

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. Accordingly, 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.

Publication of the change in classification in an industry newsletter without advance notice has left manufacturers scrambling to determine what standards ATF will allow for alternate storage and record keeping and to obtain permits for unlicensed storage vendors. In the meantime, manufacturers and importers are violating federal law, as ATF allowed no grace period for coming into compliance. We note that ATF has authorized such periods in the past when changing agency positions. For example, see ATF’s November 12, 2010 Open Letter regarding explosive pest control devices.



ATF’s sudden and unexpected change in policy on wetted nitrocellulose will likely have 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 are working with ATF to address the issues raised in this alert, including a possible agency announcement of delayed enforcement. We will notify our readers of any developments in the future.

About Reeves & Dola:

Reeves & Dola is a Washington, DC law firm that specializes in helping clients navigate the highly regulated and complex world of manufacturing, sales and international trade of defense and commercial products. We have a deep understanding of the Federal regulatory process, and use our expertise in working with a variety of Federal agencies to assist our clients with their transactional and regulatory needs.

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Stewart Rhodes

Stewart is the founder and National President of Oath Keepers. He served as a U.S. Army paratrooper until disabled in a rough terrain parachuting accident during a night jump. He is a former firearms instructor, former member of Rep. Ron Paul’s DC staff, and served as a volunteer firefighter in Montana. Stewart previously wrote the monthly Enemy at the Gates column for S.W.A.T. Magazine. Stewart graduated from Yale Law School in 2004, where his paper “Solving the Puzzle of Enemy Combatant Status” won Yale’s Miller prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. He assisted teaching U.S. military history at Yale, was a Yale Research Scholar, and is writing a book on the dangers of applying the laws of war to the American people.



  1. Well, I got the ATF changed a classification of some substance that I have no clue what it is without extensive research. What I don’t get is what does this mean for me? I can’t buy ammo? Ammo prices are going to go up? I can’t buy reloading supplies? All I read was a bunch of gobbeldy goop that doesn’t make any sense.

  2. Good catch, Jason.

    The real problem is not the traitors and domestic enemies (those serving within our governments and the regulatory agencies they created) of the American people, the US Constitution – our legitimate government; but the real danger to all Americans are the enforcers they use – military, “law enforcement”, those serving within the “regulatory” agencies that are “enforcement” for that agency. All are Oath takers, or required to be. Because of that status they are also required to know the US Constitution, their state Constitution, and if they did as is lawfully required of them for them to retain the positions they occupy they would NOT enforce any of those things.

    They must not be surprised when we get our nation back as it is supposed to be when they are charged with treason, *terrorism, etc. Because without their assistance – be it through deliberately assisting in treason/terrorism, or through “just following orders” and/or “just doing their jobs” – they are still able to be found guilty of those crimes since it could not have happened/been happening without their assistance.

    This very thing is why George Washington said that we must have our own weapons industry that is NOT under the authority of those that serve within our governments. That is correct, NOT under any “regulatory” agency.

    George Washington: “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.”

    Tench Coxe: “Who are the militia? are they not ourselves. Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. THEIR SWORDS, AND EVERY OTHER TERRIBLE IMPLEMENT OF THE SOLDIER, ARE THE BIRTH-RIGHT OF AN AMERICAN… THE UNLIMITED POWER OF THE SWORD IS NOT IN THE HANDS OF EITHER THE FEDERAL OR STATE GOVERNMENTS BUT, where I trust in God it will ever remain, IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE.”

    Read that comment above again. Notice that it is the state and federal governments that are NOT to have “the unlimited power of the sword”. That is because they are REQUIRED, in writing, in the contract that they are ALL Oath sworn to, to use the Militia not any other agency/person/etc for the purposes of;
    — Enforce the US Constitution and each state’s Constitution,
    — Enforce and keep the “Laws of the Union” (which are constitutional laws ONLY),
    — Protect the country against all enemies both domestic and foreign, and
    — “to suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”.

    Add to that there is to be NO permanent (standing) military but only a Militia of the people trained as the congress requires the military to be trained so that the people could handle the defense of our nation from all enemies until a military could be drawn from the Militia ranks so that a permanent military could never be used against the people.

    Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, floor debate over the 2nd Amendment, I Annals of Congress: “What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to PREVENT THE ESTABLISMENT OF A STANDING ARMY, the bane of liberty….”

    Samuel Adams: “It is always dangerous to the liberties of the people to have an army stationed among them, over which they have no control … The Militia is composed of free Citizens. There is therefore no danger of their making use of their Power to the destruction of their own Rights, or suffering others to invade them..” and he also said that: “Under every government the last resort of the people, is an appeal to the sword; whether to defend themselves against the open attacks of a foreign enemy, or to check the insidious encroachments of domestic foes. Whenever a people … entrust the defence of their country to a regular, standing army,… the power of that country will remain under the direction of the most wealthy citizens….”

    Tench Coxe, ‘Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution’: “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms”.

    Notice that Tenche Coxe said above the “military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country,…’. that is because we are not to have a permanent military as the military superiors and those that supply military arms will create wars to use them – and as all can see today that is correct, that is exactly what we have had happen here.

    Understand that the framers of both the documents that created our nation – the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution – had experience of permanent military being used to oppress the people. They knew that a permanent military is a tool of government, not the people. That the military had been used throughout human history by governments to enforce its rule against their own people. They will not use the soldiers in their home states or towns, they will use them elsewhere in our nation so that they have no relationship with the locals so that they could be used against the local population much easier. I also believe that is why they have been pushing the drones and the robot programs, so they have a “military” that will follow what is programmed. Think not, remember Boston, etc?

    George Mason, Co-author of the Second Amendment: “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

    *28 C.F.R. Section 0.85 Terrorism is defined as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.

    Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 33: “…If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard [The Constitution] they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify…”

    Color of law. The appearance or semblance, without the substance, of legal right. Misuse of power, possessed by virtue of state law and made possible only because wrongdoer is clothed with authority of state, is action taken under “color of law.” Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, page 241.

    1. Hi Cal,

      It’s Been a long time since I broke radio silence.

      I was hoping that you might remember that I was a Gunner’s Mate Tech aboard the USS John Paul Jones DDG-32 from 78-81.
      Please “digest” that short service description, and also recall that I would have (and did) go through Gunner’s Mate “A” and “C” schools in a most “competent fashion”.

      As a shipboard Gunner’s Mate Tech I of course baby-sat the ASROC Launcher, (12) MK 46 Torpedoes, and (4)W44 Nuclear Depth-bombs.

      I actually “lived” in the ASROC control station for 2 1/2 years (best stateroom on the ship… Carter’s Navy and all)
      I slept, worked, and lived no further than 12 feet away from those warheads. That equates to thousands of hours of proximity.

      Now the exposure to the Weapons Grade Plutonium 239, which is an Alpha emitter does not concern me much, but the form of Beryllium used in the lenses (as I was recently informed by a friend who is a CWI at Hanford) is a Gamma Emitter.

      I thought that I might put that out there trough this forum to see if any-one has input into possible exposure.

      But, I truly came out of the ‘woodwork’ using that as a lead-in to say that with that background, it is extremely difficult to believe that I will go before a Placer County Superior Court judge (Tahoe) on October 3, 2016 to be sentenced to 3 months of incarceration for possession of a blowgun!

      YES… 90 days for a brand new blow gun that was never taken out of my ski-box in the state of California…
      That’s a little harsh don’t you think…

      Well the egregious nature of my encounters with the California Just-us system over the past six years are thoroughly documented.

      I am absolutely beginning to “feel” targeted.
      ‘Hey, just ’cause your paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you’ (Heller/Catch22 love that one!) right?

      I of course don’t want to get into ALL the details, but will gladly “tell all” to any interested parties.

      This has gotten way out of control for all of us, and I am afraid IT will escalate into a Bosnian scenario; scenes from Matt Brackens books comes to mind, as those in control of” printing FIAT power” ARE using their enablers for their Power Move… now happening.

      All of this Maritime Law/UCC Code Enforcement CRAP will NEVER stop until WE stop it!

      By the way…

      This sentencing for a blowgun will the culmination for me of an ABSOLUTE BETRAYAL upon me by ALL of You the People of this country, and especially California.

      Where I kept those nukes safe in San Diego, Long Beach; unloaded them at Seal Beach, and baby-sat them on journeys half way around the world and back.

      AND with that said; I do reciprocate and do apologize myself for any and acts of complicity when YOU were unjustly acted upon by We the People.

      We all basically face the People (as constructed under the color of law these days) as a lowly individual…
      hopefully with a very good attorney
      or perhaps to be lucky enough to have the Clinton’s or Bushes for “friends”.
      California I am waiting for an apology

      ‘My rights end where yours begin… and yours end where mine begin.’

      I cannot vote your rights away, no matter how many accomplices.

      Back to the Ghost Dance

      Remembering (always) Russel Means and Patrick Daniel Tillman

  3. UPDATE- F Troop has back pedaled on their ruling.

    Just remember- ATF is doing this for your safety. I’m still confused why I need a middleman between me and my rights.

  4. The fact that anyone could tell me what my right are and what they mean, when I can read them myself has always infuriated me! Sometimes I wish the game would just begin, I don’t want to see my children have to carry the ball. God Speed America.

  5. Only one agent in the universe can legitimately abrogate our 2nd rights, and it’s pretty clear He doesn’t use the BATF. Hey, why don’t we all just say that infringing on the right to keep and bear arms is racist, like “voter ID’s”. Why would it be racist? Who cares? Just say it over, and over, and over….until it sticks. Let’s throw some Alinsky and Gramsci back at them.

  6. Laws of any type will NOT apply if and when THEY decide to pull a Venezuela on the American population. They will eventually lose against a million strong.

    Therefore…..don’t sweat the small stuff now !

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