138 Lawmakers urge Obama to rescind ITAR gunsmithing change
138 Lawmakers urge Obama administration to rescind ITAR gunsmithing change
Republicans on Capitol Hill are not happy with a change by the State Department in July that could force even hobbyist gunsmiths to register and pay a $2,250 annual fee to stay in operation.
[Ed. Note: In a nationwide grassroots alert, Gun Owners of America stated that, “Notwithstanding the Obama Administration’s protests to the contrary, the clear intention of this regulation is to effectively make gunsmithing illegal.” GOA has provided pre-written letters for its activists to use in contacting Congress here.]
On July 22, the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls issued new guidance for firearm manufacturers and gunsmiths to register as exporters under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and pay an annual $2,250 fee – even if they had no intention of exporting. This included companies and individuals who performed machine work on firearms such as threading barrels, magazine modifications and rechambering.
Now, a group of at least 22 U.S. Senators and 116 U.S. Representatives— all Republican– have signed on to letters addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the administration to rescind the July guidance.
In their letters, the lawmakers argued that the move was unnecessary and unfairly targets hobbyists and small businesses while listing a range of activities that do not require a Federal Firearms License to perform.
“The vast majority of our constituents engaged in gunsmithing make little to no income from their activities and often do it as a hobby or side business,” the members wrote. “They most certainly do not export firearms. They also do not manufacture firearms in any widely understood sense of the term. Therefore, it makes no sense for them to be required to pay $2,250 and register under AECA and ITAR.”