OSHA rule update
I'd posted on the OSHA ammunition and components rule earlier, and some commenters pointed out that the electronic comments page appears to be nonfunctional. I just received an email (no link attached) indicating that OSHA has withdrawn the proposed rule and intends to substantially rewrite it before submitting it for comment again.
[UPDATE: just got a link.]
(Agencies can finalize a rule if the majority of comments are against it -- regulatory law isn't democratic -- but like all humans, prefer not to stir up a big controversy unless they think it's really important. Also, they do have an obligation to respond to the substance of comments, to answer at least the major arguments against what they proposed doing, so if comments raised logical issues, beyond just stating an opposition, that might have been a big worry. It's quite possible that OSHA, which probably knows little about guns, ammo, and gun stores, didn't know what it was doing here. Or that the low-level staffer who wrote the proposed rule did know, and was antigun, but the bosses who approved it didn't know and are now aghast at the public response.
When I worked at Interior, a rule would be drafted by a Fish and Wildlife biologist who knew what they were doing. It'd go thru maybe 3 of their supervisors, who knew what they were doing, but would usually just give it a very quick read. It'd then be approved by me, my boss, and his boss, who were attorneys who knew little of wildlife biology or management, and assumed that the FWS folks were correct on those issues. Then it'd go thru 2-3 levels of political appointees for approval, most of whom knew little either of law or of wildlife, and had only a few minutes to read maybe 3" of rule and supporting materials.
So what might have happened here is either (a) the higher levels heard of the controversy and got upset or (b) the lower levels, who clearly would know of it, got worried that the top levels would get upset if they let the proposed rule stand and tried to send up a final rule for approval.)