Another backdoor firearms infringement via the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls

(CC BY-ND 2.0) William Arthur Fine Stationery, Letters Play Important Roles in our Lives

They’re at it again, folks. This time it’s the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls which is trying to infringe upon your Rights. How? Your friendly neighborhood gunsmith (you know, the guy or gal that you take your pistol or rifle to to get it fixed, or to have an upgrade installed) is being classified as a “manufacturer of defense articles” – basically someone who makes guns rather than fixes them.

This comes with the requirement to register with the Federal Government, an extra $2,000+ annual fee, and more. Much more. Yeah, it’s that bad.

Since this is an administrative rule proposal, Congress has oversight – and can reject those proposed rules. (Why we ever let Congress delegate their law-making/rule-making authority to unelected bureaucrats is a topic for another day.) In the meantime, it’s time to get those letters written and sent, voicing your disapproval of the newly proposed infringements on your Civil Rights. Don’t wait, do it now.

I just sent the following to my Senators and Representative. Feel free to borrow from my text and do the same with your Federal Delegation.


The U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls is trying to make rule changes to treat gunsmiths as “manufacturers of defense articles” and to transfer the export licensing of commercial and sporting firearms and ammunition products from the State Department to the Department of Commerce.

This is yet another attempt by this Administration to enact “gun control” (better called “firearms infringements”) by executive order and administrative rule-making – they know it’s an infringement, and they know that Congress won’t pass laws that further infringe upon our Second Amendment Rights, so they’re going about it through backdoor mechanisms.

Denounce these cowardly attempts to further infringe upon our Civil Rights!

What is your plan to stop these usurpations of your delegated powers and put an end to this “backdoor gun control”?

I will be watching your actions and await your reply.

– Joe Levi, Delegate

Update: Senator Hatch “responds” 9/20/2016

US Senator Orrin G. Hatch

Dear Mr. Levi:

Thank you for writing to me regarding the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). I appreciate knowing your views and welcome the opportunity to respond.

On July 22, 2016, the State Department issued policy guidance regarding firearms and ITAR. The State Department’s guidance notes that “manufacturing” and “gunsmithing” are not defined under ITAR and then proceeds to provide definitions using “the ordinary, contemporary, common meaning of the term[s].” It will likely not surprise you to learn that I have received letters from other Utahns sharing your concern that this policy guidance may infringe on the Second Amendment. Please know I am monitoring this situation closely.

Throughout my service to the people of Utah, I have long opposed any encroachment on our constitutional rights. I believe our freedom depends on the limits to legislative action set out in the Bill of Rights, including limits on the government’s ability to restrict firearm ownership. Rest assured, I will continue to oppose attempts to erode the rights of law-abiding gun owners, and I will keep your thoughts in mind should this issue come before the Senate for debate or a vote.

Thank you, again, for contacting me with your comments. If you would like to have regular updates on my work in the U.S. Senate, I encourage you to subscribe to my E-newsletter , visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Twitter .

Your Senator,
Orrin G. Hatch
United States Senator

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