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You are here:   News > Internal > BATFE LawSuit
Most Recent BATFE Litigation Information  

Final Joint Statement on the BATFE Litigation by the Presidents of TRA and NAR
May 25, 2010

On May 24, 2010 we agreed to a settlement with the Department of Justice (DoJ) attorneys representing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) on the issue of recovery of legal fees.  This fee recovery was our right under the Equal Access to Justice Act, because this federal agency was found by the court to have been "arbitrary and capricious" in the regulatory actions on ammonium perchlorate composite propellant that we had successfully argued for the court to overturn.  

The amount of fee recovery that we had sought under the limitations of the court decision was $81,498.  The DoJ attorneys planned to challenge this amount in detail, which would have forced us into a series of cross-filings and potentially a court hearing, further increasing our legal expenses and postponing an end to this ten-year legal struggle.  To avoid this and to bring a prompt end to this issue we have agreed to settle for a recovery of $70,000, which will result in a net of approximately $64,000 after final legal expenses are paid.  One half of this amount will go to TRA and one-half to NAR.  This represents about ten percent of the amount of your money that we actually spent on winning this case, but getting any fee recovery in a case like this is vindication that the party that defeated the federal government's position was absolutely in the right.  We were right, BATFE was wrong, and now it's over.

We extend our thanks to all of the members of our two organizations who have supported us financially and emotionally throughout this ten-year battle to defend our rights and to defeat BATFE's unnecessary and unjustified regulation of APCP as an "explosive" requiring federal licensing to possess or use and requiring storage in high-security magazines.  Because of your steadfast support we can continue our safe and responsible pursuit of our hobby without the wholly unjustified added burden that BATFE had sought to impose.  It is very rare for any group or individual to completely defeat a federal agency's attempt to impose a regulation.  We did so through sound technical arguments that many of you helped formulate; through brilliant legal representation by Marty Malsch, John Lawrence, and the late Joe Egan; and through a completely unified cooperative effort between the nation's two rocketry organizations.  Be proud of what we have accomplished, and fly safely and responsibly with the freedom that we have earned.

Ken Good, TRA President
Trip Barber, NAR President

BATFE Litigation Letters & Statements  
BATFE Litigation Documents  

Following are the court documents and filings relating to Civil Action No. 00-273 filed by Tripoli Rocketry Association and National Association of Rocketry, Plaintiffs, v. United States Bureau Of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Defendant.

DATE
DOCUMENT
5/25/10 Stipulation of Settlement and Voluntary Dismissal
5/10/10 Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Amended Petition for Attorney's Fees and Costs
4/16/10 Amended Motion for Attorney's Fees and Costs
3/26/10 Memorandum Opinion Regarding Attorney's Fees
Order Regarding Attorney's Fees
8/11/09 Plaintiff's Reply To Defendant's Opposition To Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney's Fees and Costs
Motion for Leave to File Supplemental Fee Motion
7/22/09 Open Letter to Explosive Licensees Regarding APCP
Defendant's Opposition to Attorney's Fees
Motion for Attorney's Fees and Costs
03/16/09
04/11/07
03/16/07
02/02/07
02/01/07
04/20/06
04/14/06
04/05/06
08/05/05
10/05/04
03/19/04
03/19/04
10/25/02
Unknown
Unknown
09/30/02
Unknown
09/30/02
09/03/02
09/03/02
09/03/02
08/30/02?
08/30/02
08/30/02
08/30/02
06/24/02
04/30/02