GOP Senators to Block State Department’s Backdoor Gun Control

gun control

On August 29, Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Charles Grassley (R-IA), James Inhofe (R-OK), and others sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry intended to block current backdoor gun control efforts by the State Department.

The senators’ goal is to prevent the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) from continuing to target businesses tied to arms and/or ammunition with new fees and regulations.

For example, on August 10, Breitbart News reported that the State Department’s DDTC issued new “guidelines” that would result in forcing some gunsmiths to register as firearms “manufacturers” and pay a fee of approximately $2,250.

The DDTC’s “guidelines” for ascertaining who has to register as manufacturers are cryptic, at best:

Any person who engages in the United States in the business of manufacturing or exporting or temporarily importing defense articles, or furnishing defense services, is required to register with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls under §122.2. For the purpose of this subchapter, engaging in such a business requires only one occasion of manufacturing or exporting or temporarily importing a defense article or furnishing a defense service. A manufacturer who does not engage in exporting must nevertheless register.

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Affairs (NRA-ILA) notes that the DDTC “guidelines” create “far more confusion than clarity and threatens to chill lawful behavior and put small commercial gunsmiths who cannot afford [the fee requisite to manufacturing status] out of business.”

DDTC is making these moves under the auspices of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), even though the Obama administration promised an Export Control Reform action that would remove firearms and ammunition from DDTC’s purview.

Senators Daines, Cotton, Grassley, Inhofe, and others are demanding the administration not only complete the Export Control Reform, but also provide a date by which that reform will be completed.

NRA-ILA quotes the senators as saying, “The last thing [the affected small businesses] need is an edict from the federal government imposing crippling fees and requirements which are wholly unnecessary and nonsensical.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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