Friday, July 06, 2007

Has OSHA Gone Loopy?

You've heard about OSHA's new proposed regulation, which would re-define gunpowder and primers as "explosives."

In effect, this re-definition would:

Prohibit possession of firearms in commercial “facilities containing explosives”—an obvious problem for your local gun store.

Require evacuation of all “facilities containing explosives”—even your local Wal-Mart—during any electrical storm.

Prohibit smoking within 50 feet of “facilities containing explosives.”

While there may be incidents which were caused by gunpowder or explosives in the manufacturing sector, there has certainly not been a sudden uptick in explosions or fires in WalMarts which sell guns and ammo, traced directly to the presence of gunpowder and/or primers.

Nor in Gander Mountain stores, Cabela's stores, or your basic local gunshop.

What gives?

It occurs that OSHA made an error--these things happen. Certainly it is useful to carefully monitor conditions within a bullet-manufacturing facility; caution and strongly-enforced safety measures are in the best interests of workers, managers, and owners of such facilities.

But in the case of distributors, transporters, or retailers, one must ask "Why?" There's no "there" there.

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