October 5th, 2016

Export Control Reform Act Could Benefit Firearms Industry

export control reform act ITAR Department state commerce obama

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) hailed the recent bipartisan introduction of the Export Control Reform Act of 2016 in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 6176, as well as the companion Senate bill, S. 3405, and called on Congress to pass this important legislation.

“The Export Control Reform Act of 2016 seeks to complete what the Obama administration itself began by transferring the export licensing and enforcement oversight of sporting and commercial firearms to the Commerce Department from the State Department,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We would especially like to thank the sponsors: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.); Congressmen Henry Cuellar (D-Texas); Tom Marino (R-Penn.); Gene Green (D-Texas); and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) for their timely bipartisan leadership as well as Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) for sponsoring a companion bill in the Senate.”

In August 2009, with the support of the business community including NSS, the Obama administration launched the Export Control Reform (ECR) Initiative. The Initiative’s purpose is to both improve America’s global competitiveness by reducing unnecessary restrictions on exports of commercial items and enhance national security by focusing the State Department’s attention and resources on guarding truly sensitive defense items and technologies. As former Defense Secretary Robert Gates once said, the ECR Initiative’s purpose is “to build a higher fence around a smaller yard.”

The administration has transferred, or is in the process of transferring, to Commerce from State, export licensing responsibility for virtually all commercial, non-military items. The only remaining items yet to be transferred are sporting and commercial firearms and related products. While we have patiently waited for the administration to make ECR progress on our products, small manufacturers, component parts suppliers, distributors, and exporters in our industry, and even gunsmiths and individuals, have to continue to comply with unnecessary regulations and to pay an annual minimum registration fee of $2,250, regardless of whether they actually export. Under the State Department’s Cold-war era export licensing regime, American companies are unable to compete globally on a level playing field.

“Because the administration has not moved forward in a timely manner to complete its own ECR Initiative, it is now time for Congress to move forward with legislation complete the ECR and reduce unneeded and burdensome regulations while improving our global competitiveness, create American jobs and enhance national security,” Keane said. [Editor’s Note: One goal of the ECR initiative is to reduce the burden of ITAR compliance for gunsmiths who do not export any products. SEE ITAR Registration Requirements Report.]

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December 20th, 2011

ATF and Industry Experts Consult on Import and Export Issues

ATF Compliance ConsultingIf you have a business that makes or sells firearms or gun parts (from triggers to barrels), you’ve probably learned that import/export regulations are complex. A thicket of federal regulation governs arms importation. And when it comes to shipping products overseas, the rules and regulations can vary from destination to destination. To help businesses comply with applicable laws on import and export, two experienced professionals now offer consulting services for the firearm industry.

Larry White — Firearms Import Specialist
After retiring from the ATF recently, 35-year veteran Larry White has established an import consulting business, Arms Trade Solutions, based in Virginia. White started his career with ATF in 1976, spending the past 19 years in the imports arena, most recently as industry liaison/analyst for the Firearms and Explosives Services Division. Larry told us that he can “handle all matters involving the ATF, with a concentration in firearms importation issues.” Larry added that he can also assist FFLs and gun-shop owners in basic issues of compliance and records maintenance. You can contact Mr. White at larrywhite [at] gmail.com, or call (703) 855-7330.

Kim Pritula — Export Sales and Compliance Specialist
Another industry veteran, Kim Pritula, now serves as president of KMP Global Consulting, which provides guidance and expertise to firearms industry companies on export compliance, export sales and ATF compliance. Pritula has more than 25 years of experience in the field, most recently serving as Sturm, Ruger’s director of export/ATF compliance and security. Based in New Hampshire, Ms. Pritula can be contacted at (603) 382-8974.

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