UPDATE: I created a GoFundMe page. The court threw me out on a technicality, but I can get back in by paying the exorbitant ITAR fee and suing for a refund. If you want to help, you can make a secure donation there
Today, Leo Combat’s lawsuit against the State Department’s ITAR regulations was dismissed. Not because it was wrong, but because the judge decided Leo Combat lacks standing. Because nobody is actually being prosecuted at the moment, there isn’t a real “case or controversy” for the court to decide.
In other words, it’s fine if ITAR is unconstitutional, because Leo Combat isn’t the “right” party to bring the lawsuit.
That is the way it goes sometimes.
There are three options: 1) appeal, 2) pay the fee and sue for damages (thus creating a controversy about the money), or 3) find someone who has paid and offer to represent that person or company for free. There’s also 4) try to get prosecuted, but that’s too dumb to try.
1) is probably pointless. It was a reasonably close question so an appeals court is just going to waste a year and decide they don’t want to bother.
Leo Combat operates on a shoestring with tiny profits. So 2) is not feasible without selling a goodly number of knives, hammer shrouds, and gift certificates. If you want to help out and see this legal challenge go forward, tell your friends! I don’t want to give up. I am also trying to set up a GoFundMe page, but they have held it in moderation.
3) is a real possibility. I will be visiting some shops I know pay the fees every year to see if they are interested in getting their money back. I would work for a percentage of any recovery. Realistically, this isn’t about making money, it’s about stopping unconstitutional conduct. If you know anyone who would like to be a plaintiff, hit the contact page.
A big thanks to all my customers and supporters–I do it for you!