On July 22 the Obama administration filtered down through the State Department a new ITAR (International traffic in arms regulations) “policy guidance”. As is often the case in this political climate, no new laws where issued, just existing regulations where tweaked to further assist the political left and their gun banning agenda. The new definitions will require that nearly all companies involved in basic gunsmithing operations have to register with the State Department as firearms manufacturers and pay an annual registration fee currently set at $2250. This despite the fact that most are not defined under BATF rules as manufacturers or exporters of firearms.
ITAR regulates the export of primarily heavy armament, such as tanks and missiles. Yet it all comes down to the definitions of defense articles, and the bureaucrats have decided that companies such as mine fall under this clause.
I have had a gun manufacturing license for several years and have been registering with the State Department already for as long. The new rules will not immediately re-impact me, but for thousands of gunsmiths this will be a huge change. No doubt, many micro businesses won’t be able to comply and especially for start ups, this will make it almost impossible. Possibly many home based businesses might get also into conflict with zoning laws. As usual, when the left meddles in the private sector, effects of their actions ripple through small companies and hardly impact any of the big ones. Just like with the coal miners in PA, there is no doubt in my mind that the left will further pursue to drive out any business sector that they don’t like. If you like your gunsmith, you can keep your gunsmith, right?
I never intended to make this blog site political and I would much rather write about fine guns and gunmaking. However, sometimes a person needs to take a stand. If you care about the second amendment and still have representation in Washington, it would be good to inform your representatives of these new rules.
For further information please visit the State Department website: