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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July 29th, 2016

ALERT: Feds Impose ITAR Registration Burdens on Gunsmiths

AECA DDTC Federal export manufacturer registration requirement criminal sanctions Annual fee NRA-ILA

If you are a gunsmith or work on firearms, you need to read this carefully. The Federal Government, acting through the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), has imposed significant new burdens on gunsmiths by expanding the definition of “manufacturing”. This is a big deal, as the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and its implementing rules, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), require firearms “manufacturers” to register with DDTC and to pay a registration fee that (for new applicants) is currently $2,250 per year.

READ DDTC’s ITAR Registration Requirements Concerning Gunsmithing Dated 7/22/2016
Official Title: ITAR Registration Requirements — Consolidated Guidance July 22, 2016 — Firearms Manufacturers and Gunsmiths

Previously, most small gunsmithing operations that did not export firearms were NOT subject to AECA/ITAR registration requirements. Now, by virtue of a DDTC “Guidance” ruling issued 7/22/2016, ordinary gunsmiths might be required to register as a manufacturer simply because they thread a muzzle or cut a chamber.

The NRA-ILA states: “DDTC is labeling commercial gunsmiths as ‘manufacturers’ for performing relatively simple work such as threading a barrel or fabricating a small custom part for an older firearm. Under the AECA, ‘manufacturers’ are required to register with DDTC at significant expense or risk onerous criminal penalties.” Read NRA-ILA Full Report.

AECA DDTC Federal export manufacturer registration requirement criminal sanctions Annual fee NRA-ILA

Here is the key language in the DDTC’s “ITAR Registration Requirements – Consolidated Guidance” Ruling of 7/22/2016:

2. Registration Required – Manufacturing: In response to questions from persons engaged in the business of gunsmithing, DDTC has found in specific cases that ITAR registration is required because the following activities meet the ordinary, contemporary, common meaning of “manufacturing” and, therefore, constitute “manufacturing” for ITAR purposes:

a) Use of any special tooling or equipment upgrading in order to improve the capability of assembled or repaired firearms;

b) Modifications to a firearm that change round capacity;

c) The production of firearm parts (including, but not limited to, barrels, stocks, cylinders, breech mechanisms, triggers, silencers, or suppressors);

d) The systemized production of ammunition, including the automated loading or reloading of ammunition;

e) The machining or cutting of firearms, e.g., threading of muzzles or muzzle brake installation requiring machining, that results in an enhanced capability;

f) Rechambering firearms through machining, cutting, or drilling;

g) Chambering, cutting, or threading barrel blanks; and

h) Blueprinting firearms by machining the barrel.

Editor’s Comment: Does this mean that any stock-maker or stock supplier is an ITAR “manufacturer” under part 2(c)? Would installing a scope or accessory rail fall under part 2(a) as “equipment upgrading”? Would fluting a barrel be considered “manufacturing” under part 2(h)?

Impact of New Registration Requirements
As the NRA-ILA (Institute for Legislative Action) reads this, gunsmithing shops (even one-man operations) will now be subject to ITAR regulation though they export nothing: “These requirements apply, even if the business does not, and does not intend to, export any defense article. Moreover, under ITAR, ‘only one occasion of manufacturing … a defense article’ is necessary for a commercial entity to be considered ‘engaged in the business’ and therefore subject to the regime’s requirements.”

As a consequence, these new regulations may drive smaller gunsmithing services out of business: “DDTC’s move appears aimed at expanding the regulatory sweep of the AECA/ITAR and culling many smaller commercial gunsmithing operations that do not have the means to pay the annual registration fee or the sophistication to negotiate DDTC’s confusing maze of bureaucracy. [This is] likely to have a significant chilling effect on activity that would not even be considered regulated.”

Statutory Authority for Registration
The AECA’s statutory requirement for firearms manufacturers to register with DDTC is implemented in Part 122 of the ITAR:

§122.1 Registration requirements.
(a) 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.

Barrel chambering image from Primal Rights, dealer for Desert Tactical Arms.
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March 31st, 2016

Registration Opens for 2016 National Matches at Camp Perry

Camp Perry 2016 Natinoal CMP Matches Regisatration Open

Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Registration for the 2016 National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches will open April 1, 2016. The National Matches will take place at Camp Perry, Ohio, six miles west of Port Clinton, during the months of July and August. Starting April 1st, you can register on the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) website to claim your spot at this year’s event.

For more information on the National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches, to view event schedules, or to REGISTER for the matches, visit: www.TheCMP.org/competitions/cmp-national-matches.

2016 National Match Schedule Includes Legacy Series
The 2016 Match Schedule will be different from the 2014-2015 National Matches, returning to the original schedule of years past. Events featured will include the John C. Garand, President’s Rifle, Hearst Doubles, Vintage Sniper, as well as a multitude of prestigious pistol events. New this year, the CMP will introduce its Legacy Series — an extra week with competitions featuring both vintage and modern military rifles. Each event has been named to honor the memories of important figures in marksmanship history, as well as to commemorate the spirit of past and present National Matches.

Camp Perry 2016 Natinoal CMP Matches Regisatration Open

Shooting Clinics at Camp Perry This Summer
The Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) will also be held for rifle and pistol enthusiasts this summer. Participants will be taught firearms handling and competition skills by some of the top military shooters in the country. The SAFS courses have been a staple in the National Matches at Camp Perry since 1918. Many other clinics and learning opportunities, taught by qualified professionals, will also be available during the National Matches.

Spectators Are Welcome at the National Matches
Events are open to the public, and spectators are welcome to observe firing on the Camp Perry ranges at any time. Guests are encouraged to visit Camp Perry and watch the many events held during Match season. The photo below shows spectators watching Pistol events at the 1956 National Matches. That was quite a crowd…

Camp Perry 2016 Natinoal CMP Matches Regisatration Open

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org.

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February 26th, 2016

Registration Opens for 2016 National Matches at Camp Perry

Camp Perry Championships Shawn McKenna
Shawn McKenna Photo.

NRA National Championship Camp PerryOnline registration is officially open for the 2016 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. Held July 11 through August 9, 2016, the National Matches attract the nation’s finest civilian and military marksmen who will participate in a month of competitive shooting on the shores of Lake Erie. From pistol, to smallbore rifle, high power rifle, and long range high power rifle (including F-Class), the national matches have something for just about every serious shooter.

Shooters may now register to compete in this summer’s 2016 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. Championship will be held in NRA’s Pistol, High Power, Mid-Range, and Long Range disciplines. Click the links below for the 2016 NM Calendar and NM Registration Form:

2016 National Championships Calendar | 2016 National Championships Registration Form

Camp Perry National Championships NRA

Smallbore Championships Will Be Held in Bristol, Indiana
As usual, the pistol, High Power, and High Power Long Range Championships will be held at Camp Perry, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie. However, the NRA National Smallbore Position Championships and Smallbore Prone Championships will be held at the Chief Wa-Ke-De Range in Bristol, Indiana. This year’s Smallbore Championships are scheduled for July 10 through July 18th.

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June 7th, 2015

Online Registration Still Open for National Matches

2012 Nat’l High Power Champ Carl Bernosky. Photo courtesy NRABlog.com

 2014 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio

Report based on story by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog.com
It’s not too late — you can still sign up for your spot in this summer’s NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships. Register online now to participate in the 2015 NRA National Rifle & Pistol Championships which will be held July 6 – August 14, 2015.

Pistol and High Power Rifle REGISTRATION | Smallbore Rifle Championships REGISTRATION

(more…)

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March 24th, 2014

Hurry Up and Wait — ATF Taking More Time to Process Forms

ATF BATFE Form 4 Processing Delay TimeThe Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (ATF) Enforcement Programs and Services (EPS) Division has posted a new chart for its form-processing times, and the latest information is not good. NFA Forms 1 and 4 are now taking 10 months to process.

The ATF’s NFA Form 4, is one of the forms required to legally purchase a suppressor (sound moderator). The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is working to get additional resources committed to EPS through the Congressional appropriations process. NSSF Senior VP and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane stated: “The delays and lack of timely customer service, which grows worse every month, is significantly interfering with the ability of members of our industry to engage in the lawful commerce and grow their businesses[.] It also infringes on the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights in a timely manner, and a right delayed is a right denied.”

Related Resources:

ATF BATFE Form Processing Delay Time

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December 5th, 2013

Going to SHOT Show? Better Complete Your Registration Soon…

SHOT Show 2014 NSSFBelieve it or not, NSSF’s 2014 SHOT Show is only a month and a half away. As the entire industry prepares, enthusiasm is already building for the January 14-17 event in Las Vegas, Nevada.

If you haven’t already done so, register today at ShotShow.org. At the same time you can also sign up for special sessions, such as retailer and law enforcement seminars, SHOT Show University, evening events, and more. Stay up to date on show news through the SHOT Show Blog and connect with the show via Facebook and Twitter.

CLICK HERE to Search Exhibitors, View Floor Plans, or Access the SHOT Show Planner.

SHOT Show 2014 Las Vegas Floor Plan

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September 17th, 2013

SHOT Show 2014 Registration Opens for Attendees

Registration for the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s 2014 SHOT Show is now open for attendees. (Media and Exhibitor registration will open in the coming weeks.) The 2014 SHOT Show will be held January 14 through 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Sands Convention Center. While registering, attendees can easily add State of the Industry Dinner tickets, enroll in SHOT Show University and sign up for other educational offerings. CLICK HERE for Registration Page.

SHOT Show Sands Convention

SHOT Show Sands Convention Wi-fi wifi wireless internetImproved WI-FI at SHOT Show Venue
The Sands Expo & Convention Center recently completed installation of a new $1.6 million wireless LAN (WLAN) that Sands executives say will deliver seamless Wi-Fi coverage throughout the Sands Expo and Convention Center’s 2.2 million square feet of flexible exhibition and meeting space. That’s a good thing for media folks, but we can envision thousands of people bumping into each other as they walk around with eyes focused on their digital devices, sending “tweets” and scanning Facebook pages.

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April 15th, 2013

New York State Mandatory Registration Program Starts Today

The state of New York has activated its online registration service for owners of semi-automatic firearms that have been re-classified as “Assault Weapons” under New York’s SAFE Act. We put that term in quotes because the same firearms, such as AR-platform rifles, are legal to own, with few restrictions, in most other U.S. states. New York owners of newly-restricted semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns have one year from today to register their firearms. Failure to register a newly-defined “assault weapon” by April 15th, 2014 is punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor, with forfeiture of the firearm(s).

Graphic from NY State Police Website
NY gunregistration state police

The online registration system is implemented through the New York Division of State Police website at: https://firearms.troopers.ny.gov/safeact/welcome.faces.

If you are a New York gun owner with firearm(s) that may be covered by the SAFE Act, you should read the statute carefully and possibly consult with an attorney if you have questions about your legal obligations. There are many confusing provisions in the new law, but primarily the law requires registration of any auto-loading firearm (pistol, shotgun or rifle) that takes a detachable magazine and has any one or more “evil” features, which are separately enumerated for pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Click these links to read the exact list of banned features.

Pistol Banned Features | Rifle Banned Features | Shotgun Banned Features

New York has issued a non-exhaustive list of rifles classified as “assault weapons”. However, even if you don’t see your rifle on this list, it may still be restricted. Under the SAFE Act, ANY semi-automatic rifle “capable of receiving a detachable magazine” is considered an “assault rifle” if it has any ONE or more of these “military characteristics”:

Grenade Launcher
Folding Stock
Thumbhole Stock
Protruding Pistol Grip
Second handgrip or “protruding grip that can be held by the non-shooting hand”.
Bayonet Mount
Flash Suppressor
Muzzle Brake
Muzzle Compensator
Threaded barrel “designed to accommodate” Brake, Suppressor, or Compensator.

In addition to the new registration requirement, the sale and/or transfer of newly-defined “assault weapons” is banned within the state, although sales out of state are permitted. Possession of the newly-defined “assault weapons” is allowed only if they were possessed at the time that the law was passed, and they must be registered with the state within one year (of today) by the owner. The SAFE Act grandfathers the prior ownership of “assault weapons”, but requires that they be registered with the NY State Police by April 15, 2014 — plus they must be recertified every five years. More information can be found at www.Renzullilaw.com.

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October 26th, 2012

Get Ready for SHOT Show 2013 — January 15-18 in Las Vegas

SHOT Show NSSF Las VegasThe 35th Anniversary SHOT Show is less than three months away, and there’s no time like the present to start planning your show. Watch this video news update for details on what you need to know about the 2013 SHOT Show. SHOT Show will run January 15-18, 2013 at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas. Note: SHOW Show is not open to the general public. However, persons in the shooting industry and working journalists can obtain credentials to attend. Learn more about the 2013 SHOT Show at www.ShotShow.org. Late breaking news and special promotions can be found on the SHOT Show Facebook Page. CLICK LINKs to Register for 2013 Shot Show: Attendees | Media

Exhibitor Registration and Personnel Credentials
SHOT Show exhibitors may now order show credentials for booth personnel on the Exhibitor Dashboard. All exhibit staff must wear credentials at all times in order to gain access to the show floor. Order your credentials today and avoid on-site lines and fees. Get more details at the SHOT Show blog.

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April 7th, 2011

Online Registration Opens for 2011 Camp Perry Championships

Camp Perry Championships registrationCamp Perry shooters, get out those computer keyboards. Online entry is now officially activated for the 2011 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry. If you plan to attend the National Championships, CLICK HERE to submit your entry information online at www.nmentry.com.

The Online Entry Form for the 2011 National Matches has links to download Liability forms and Special Squadding Request forms for the Smallbore Rifle Phase. Please note that team entries must be made on-site at Camp Perry. Visit www.nmentry.com, for more info. If you have questions about online entry, email compadmin@nrahq.org.

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January 18th, 2011

California Mail-Order Ammo Restriction Ruled Unconstitutional

Report by C.D. Michel
In a dramatic ruling giving gun owners a win in an National Rifle Association / California Rifle and Pistol (CRPA) Foundation lawsuit, this morning Fresno Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hamilton ruled that AB 962, the hotly contested statute that would have banned mail order ammunition sales and required all purchases of so-called “handgun ammunition” to be registered, was unconstitutionally vague on its face.

The trial Court enjoined enforcement of the statute, so mail order ammunition sales to California can continue unabated, and ammunition sales need not be registered under the law.

The lawsuit was prompted in part by the many objections and questions raised by confused police, ammunition purchasers, and sellers about what ammunition is covered by the new laws created by AB 962. In a highly unusual move that reflects growing law enforcement opposition to ineffective gun control laws, Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. Other plaintiffs include the CRPA Foundation, Herb Bauer Sporting Goods, ammunition shipper Able’s Ammo, collectible ammunition shipper RTG Sporting Collectibles, and individual Steven Stonecipher. Mendocino Sheriff Tom Allman also supported the lawsuit.

The ruling comes just days before the portion of the law that bans mail order sales of so-called “handgun ammunition” was set to take effect on February 1, 2011. The lawsuit, Parker v. California, is funded exclusively by the NRA and the CRPA Foundation. If it had gone into effect, AB 962 would have imposed burdensome and ill-conceived restrictions on the sales of ammunition. AB 962 required that “handgun ammunition” be stored out of the reach of customers, that ammunition vendors collect ammunition sales registration information and thumb-prints from purchasers, and conduct transactions face-to-face for all deliveries and transfers of “handgun ammunition.” The lawsuit successfully sought the declaration from the Court that the statute was unconstitutional, and successfully sought the injunctive relief prohibiting law enforcement from enforcing the new laws.

Trial Court Agrees that Ammo Ban is Unconstitutionally Vague
The lawsuit alleged, and the Court agreed, that AB 962 is unconstitutionally vague on its face because it fails to provide sufficient legal notice of what ammunition cartridges are “principally for use in a handgun,” and thus is considered “handgun ammunition” that is regulated under AB 962. It is practically impossible, both for those subject to the law and for those who must enforce it, to determine whether any of the thousands of different types of ammunition cartridges that can be used in handguns are actually “principally for use in” or used more often in, a handgun. The proportional usage of any given cartridge is impossible to determine, and in any event changes with market demands.

Decision Will Probably Be Appealed but Law Will Still Be Suspended
Constitutional vagueness challenges to state laws are extremely difficult to win, particularly in California firearms litigation, so this success is particularly noteworthy. Even so, an appeal by the State is likely, but the Court’s Order enjoining enforcement of the law is effective immediately, regardless [of the possibility of appeal]. Editor’s Note: An injunction against the application of AB 962s provision will remain in effect until such time as it is vacated by an appellate court. But for the time being, mail-order ammo sales to California can proceed without restriction, as if AB 962 were never signed into law. Until a higher court rules otherwise, the contested provisions of AB 962 are rendered a nullity.

This report provided by C.D. Michel Michel of Michel & Associates, counsel for the NRA in the litigation challenging the California mail-order ammo ban.

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June 8th, 2010

California Assembly Approves Total Gun Registration

gun registration CaliforniaOn a 43-10 vote, the California Assembly approved AB 1810, a bill by Democratic Assemblyman Mike Feuer (Los Angeles) that would require registration of all rifles and shotguns. Information on long gun sales would be permanently archived in a database that could be accessed by the Dept. of Justice (DOJ), law enforcement agencies, and, presumably, by other government officials. The database would include the buyer’s name, address, place of birth, phone number, gender, occupation, and other information. AB 1810 repeals existing law which expressly prohibits compiling a long gun database. AB 1810 requires the DOJ to create and maintain a Registration Database of ALL new long-gun purchases or private party transfers.

Under current California law, only handguns are included in a statewide database. AB 1810 would require that all transfers (new or used) of rifles and shotguns are recorded in the same way. This bill passed the California Assembly on Thursday and now moves to the State Senate. Because the Senate is dominated by Democrats, AB 1810 will probably be approved on a party-line vote and then sent to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s desk, perhaps as early as this summer. So take note — AB 1810 is not the law YET. But the bill is likely to get to the Governor barring something unexpected in the State Senate.

CLICK HERE for text of California AB 1810.

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September 29th, 2009

Gun Owners Nationwide Seek Veto of California AB 962

We reported recently that the California Legislature passed AB 962. This bill would require anyone buying pistol ammo to provide drivers’ license #, address, and a thumbprint. And, because AB 962 requires all pistol ammo sales to be “face to face”, the law would effectively ban mail-order ammo sales in California. While AB 962 targets pistol ammo sales, it could also apply to any type of rifle ammo that has been used in pistols (including single-shots). That would include 22LR, 22 rimfire magnum, .223 Rem, 6BR, 30-30, .308 Winchester, and more.

Opposition Efforts Gain Strength
Right now, unless CA Governor Schwarzenegger vetoes AB 962 before October 11, 2009, the bill will become law, effective February 1, 2011. Californians need your help convincing Gov. Schwarzenegger to veto AB 962. The good news is that many sportsmen and shooters, both inside and outside California, have already contacted the Governor. But opponents of AB 962 need to do more. The NSSF reports:

“With great support from Cabela’s and major distributors throughout the country, grassroots efforts to combat three anti-gun bills in California have been so strong that the Governor’s Office has had to open up another fax line (916-445-4633) to handle demands that he veto the anti-gun legislation. NSSF is encouraging all manufacturers, retailers and distributors, along with all sportsmen, gun owners and firearms enthusiasts, to continue calling, writing and faxing Gov. Schwarzenegger’s office urging him to veto AB 962 (ammunition registration).”

AB 962 May Affect Ammo Prices Outside California
Why should non-Californians care about this legislation? First, remember that over 10% of the nation’s population resides in California. If the CA market is effectively closed off to major mail-order ammo vendors, their volume will decrease significantly, and that could result in price hikes in other markets. Second, this law sets a terrible precedent. If California can effectively require registration of all persons who purchase ammo, you know that full gun registration will be the next step.

Accordingly, we request that all our readers take a few seconds to communicate with Gov. Schwarzenegger and ask him to veto AB 962. This is easy to do. You can quickly voice your opinion by calling, e-mailing, or faxing the Governor (fax line is 916-445-4633).

Telephone the Governor and Ask Him to Veto AB 962:

Step 1: Call 916-445-2841
Step 2: Press 1 for English
Step 3: Press 2 for commenting on a bill on the Governor’s desk
Step 4: Press 2 for AB 962
Step 5: Press 2 for Oppose

Email the Governor and Ask Him to Veto AB 962:

Step 1: Go to www.Gov.Ca.Gov/interact
Step 2: Fill in name and email address
Step 3: Select “GUN CONTROL” from pull-down menu
Step 4: Click “SUBMIT” (No, you’re not done yet!!)

A new page will open…

Step 5: Type in your message. It can be as simple as: “Please VETO AB 962. This bill will cost California in lost tax revenues. It also violates the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

Step 6: Click SEND

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