Requirement Amendment for Storage and Distribution of Small Arms Ammunition
The Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety program recently updated its policy regarding the storage and distribution of small arms ammunition.
Managing the oversight of ammunition affects both the Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety program and center security offices, and requires careful definition of responsibilities and processes to eliminate redundant activities between the two groups.
Previously, Chapter 4, Section 184.108.40.206.1 of NASA-STD- 8719.12, Safety Standard for Explosives, Propellants, and Pyrotechnics stated “Armories and weapons issue points shall comply with licensed explosives location requirements.”
“This original language covered all ammo,” explained Sandy Hudson, Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety program executive. “We covered our bases with this language, however security small arms ammunition storage and distribution at the operational level, which applies to the individual security officers and special agents — that’s not really in our purview.”
From the Explosives and Pyrotechnics Safety program perspective, this category of ammunition is inventoried and inspected by authorized security and/or special agent personnel at the armory level prior to being issued out for smaller, personal level storage in locations such as desk safes. It was unnecessary, and redundant, for ESOs to inspect and license each safe when they were already inventorying the armories. It was also a redundant activity between the ESOs and security, who was also overseeing these safes. Furthermore, requirements for the storage and distribution of small arms ammunition was already covered under a security policy document: NPR 6100.1, NASA Security Program Procedural Requirements, making the policies duplicative as well.
“Rather than having it be in both ours and theirs, we now just point to their policy within ours,” said Hudson.
Revised language for Chapter 4, Section 220.127.116.11.1 now reads, “Armories and weapons issue points shall comply with licensed explosives location requirements, except in locations used exclusively for the storage and/or distribution of small arms ammunition. The accountability, storage, control, and insurance of small ammunition at these locations shall be the responsibility of the Center Protective Services in accordance with NPR 1600.1.”
“The requirement, as it was, could be over exhausted and people were doing more than was really expected,” said Mike Hallock, ESO, White Sands Test Facility. “With this revision, I think the interpretation is clearer. The ammunition is accounted for in inventory through the licensed location — the armory — from where the ammunition is issued to the end user. The end user is accountable and responsible for the ammunition issued, expended or returned.”
“The ammunition is still being kept safely — secured — and we’re still maintaining an inventory,” added Hudson. “This saves time and it’s also just the right thing to do.”
Questions about the policy can be directed to Hudson.