Just as the Democratic Convention was kicking off to select Hillary Clinton as their nominee, Obama dropped another bombshell on all of us. He signed a new executive gun control order that could potentially severely impact small gunsmiths or put them out of business altogether. These gunsmiths fabricate or modify parts for guns and this edict would label them as manufacturers under current ITAR regulations. They would either have to comply and register at great expense, or risk violating an array of federal laws.
From Controversial Times:
According to the NRA-ILA (who does a better job of explaining these changes than we ever could):
On Friday, July 22, just as members of his party were gathering in Philadelphia to coronate Hillary Clinton as their presidential nominee, the Obama Administration once again released a sweeping gun control measure by executive fiat. This time the bad news came via the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), which is primarily responsible for administering the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and its implementing rules, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The upshot is that DDTC is labeling commercial gunsmiths as “manufacturers” for performing relatively simple work such as threading a barrel or fabricating a small custom part for an older firearm. Under the AECA, “manufactures” are required to register with DDTC at significant expense or risk onerous criminal penalties.
As with prior executive actions on guns, the administration released its dictate suddenly and without advance warning to or prior input from affected businesses, completely bypassing the normal formalities associated with a significant rulemaking. The guidance is also likely to result in more confusion than clarity and may significantly chill heretofore legal conduct associated with gunsmithing.
No warning or fanfare was given before Obama did this. Although, I am not surprised by it and I expect much more and worse to come down the Second Amendment pipeline before he exits far stage left out of the White House. Gun control is Obama’s legacy issue and he’s not done yet by any means.
By way of background, the AECA and ITAR concern rules by which military materiel is exported from, and imported to, the United States. The so-called “defense articles” governed by the AECA/ITAR are compiled in what is known as the U.S. Munitions List and include some, but not all, firearms and ammunition, as well as their parts and components. Thus, for purposes of the regime, a spring or floorplate from the magazine of a controlled firearm is subject to the same regulatory framework as the firearm itself.
The AECA/ITAR require anybody who engages in the business of “manufacturing” a defense article to register with DDTC and pay a registration fee that for new applicants is currently $2,250 per year. These requirements apply, even if the business does not, and does not intend to, export any defense article. Moreover, under ITAR, “only one occasion of manufacturing … a defense article” is necessary for a commercial entity to be considered “engaged in the business” and therefore subject to the regime’s requirements.
DDTC’s move appears aimed at expanding the regulatory sweep of the AECA/ITAR and culling many smaller commercial gunsmithing operations that do not have the means to pay the annual registration fee or the sophistication to negotiate DDTC’s confusing maze of bureaucracy. Like ATF’s early “guidance” this year on the GCA’s licensing requirement for firearm “dealers,” it is also likely to have a significant chilling effect on activity that would not even be considered regulated.
Obama basically warned that he would be signing executive orders like this. He’s coming after out guns and our rights. This is just one more brick in that wall. If Hillary is elected, we know she will be even worse concerning gun rights. The Marxists are determined to strip us of the constitutional right to bear arms no matter what. This latest action proves that.