On June 1 Breitbart News reported on Obama’s Spring 2015 “Unified Agenda.” The gun control measures contained therein which were to be passed by executive fiat.
Since that time Representatives like Thomas Massie (R-KY-4th) have placed riders on a DOJ appropriations bill to stop portions of the executive gun control push in its tracks. Now the NRA-ILA is revealing that the Obama administration is working behind the scenes to stifle reporting on firearms.
From the NRA-ILA:
Even as news reports have been highlighting the gun control provisions of the Administration’s “Unified Agenda” of regulatory objectives, the Obama State Department has been quietly moving ahead with a proposal that could censor online speech related to firearms.
How can this happen?
Like this: The administration is reworking the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). One of the many things regulated by ITAR are “technical data” tied to “defense articles.” This includes, but is not limited to, “detailed design, development, production or manufacturing information” about ammunition and firearms.
More specifically, this kind of “technical data” would be “blueprints, drawings, photographs, plans, instructions or documentation” related to ammunition and firearms.
While ITAR and its regulations have not been a concern in the past, as far as constraining or limiting “material posted on publicly available websites,” there are some within the current State Department arguing that “anything published online in a generally-accessible location has essentially been ‘exported,'” simply by virtue of being posted, and is therefore under the purview of ITAR.
Moreover, last week the State Department put forth a proposal “clarifying” how to handle releases containing “technical data” which are posted online or otherwise distributed into the “public domain.” Ultimately, the proposal would require those releasing “technical data” on ammunition or firearms to first seek government approval.
Here’s how the NRA-ILA summed it up:
The proposal would institute a massive new prior restraint on free speech. This is because all such releases would require the ‘authorization’ of the government before they occurred. The cumbersome and time-consuming process of obtaining such authorizations, moreover, would make online communication about certain technical aspects of firearms and ammunition essentially impossible.
Public comments on the proposed changes to ITAR will be accepted until August 3, 2015. You can submit those comments at regulations.gov or e-mail them to DDTCPublicComments@state.gov with the subject line indicating the comments concern the ‘‘ITAR Amendment—Revisions to Definitions; Data Transmission and Storage.”
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