[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 46 (Friday, March 7, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 12321]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-4459]



39 CFR Part 111

New Standards Prohibit the Mailing of Replica or Inert Munitions

AGENCY: Postal Service \TM\.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: The Postal Service is proposing new standards to prohibit the 
mailing of replica or inert munitions such as grenades or other 
simulated explosive devices.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before April 7, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Mail or deliver written comments to the Manager, Mailing 
Standards, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant, Plaza, SW., Room 3436, 
Washington, DC 20260-3436. You may inspect and photocopy all written 
comments at USPS Headquarters Library, 475 L'Enfant, Plaza, SW., 11th 
Floor N, Washington, DC between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael F. Lee, 202-268-7263.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Current Postal Service standards do not 
prohibit look-alike weapons from the mail. In order to ensure safety of 
postal employees and prevent damage to postal property or other 
mailpieces, inert munitions have been handled as ``live ammunition'' 
when found in the mail. In the past, facilities have been evacuated 
when inert replicas have been identified in the mailstream. In 2006, 
the Postal Service recorded 849 suspicious incidents involving mail 
that exhibited characteristics of possible explosives. Postal 
facilities were evacuated on 100 separate occasions due to these 
occurrences. Postal Inspectors or local emergency first responders 
reacted to each of these occurrences to assess the items. Evacuations 
cost the Postal Service time and money, create unnecessary stress for 
employees, and can impact service commitments.
    Most importantly, employee safety can be jeopardized when 
facsimiles of potentially dangerous items are permitted in the mail. 
Both real and replica explosives have been found in the mail and the 
replicas often are not readily distinguishable from the real articles. 
The Postal Service is concerned that without prohibition of these types 
of mail pieces, continued exposure to replicated munitions, over time, 
will lead to desensitized reactions should an employee encounter items 
in the mail that should be regarded as dangerous.
    This proposed rule is part of our ongoing commitment to increase 
the safety of the mail and provide a safe working environment for our 
    Although we are exempt from the notice and comment requirements of 
the Administrative Procedure Act [5 U.S.C. of 553(b), (c)] regarding 
proposed rulemaking by 39 U.S.C. 410(a), the Postal Service invites 
public comment on the following proposed revisions to Mailing Standards 
of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), 
incorporated in the Code of Federal Regulations. See 39 CFR 111.1.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.


    1. The authority citation for 39 CFR part 111 continues to read as 

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a); 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 414, 
416, 3001-3011, 3201-3219, 3403-3406, 3621, 3622, 3626, 3632, 3633 
and 5001.

    2. Revise the following sections of Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) as follows:
* * * * *

600 Basic Standards for All Mailing Services

601 Mailability

* * * * *

11.0 Other Restricted and Nonmailable Matter

* * * * *
    [Renumber current 11.5 through 11.20 as 11.6 through 11.21. Insert 
new 11.5 to read as follows:]

11.5 Replica or Inert Munitions

    Replica or inert munitions that bear a realistic appearance, such 
as simulated grenades or other simulated explosive devices, are not 
permitted in the mail.
* * * * *
    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to 
reflect these changes if the proposal is adopted.

Neva R. Watson,
Attorney, Legislative.
[FR Doc. E8-4459 Filed 3-6-08; 8:45 am]